New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership will make anew call to businesses to help young people across Norfolk and Suffolk into employment or education through the New Anglia Youth Pledge, at an event at this week’s Norfolk Skills and Careers Festival.
A record 6,000 students have registered to attend the festival at The Norfolk Showground on Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 March as part of National Apprenticeship Week, with more than 100 businesses exhibiting.Now in its fourth year, the festival is an interactive event aimed at helping inspire 14-24 year olds to begin their journey towards a future career.
The New Anglia Youth Pledge is a commitment made by stakeholders across public and private sectors in to ensure that:
“Every young person (16 to 24 years old) in Norfolk and Suffolk gets the support they need to move into education, training, an apprenticeship or job within three months of leaving education or employment.”
Employers and businesses play a vital role in creating work experience opportunities and helping young people advance career prospects.
Businesses are encouraged to sign up to the Youth Pledge if they provide:
- Work experience or industry placements
- Work inspiration through mock interviews, enterprise days etc
- Support for those with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND)
- Apprenticeships or traineeships
- Enterprise Advisers for the New Anglia Enterprise Adviser Network
The New Anglia Enterprise Adviser Network will also have a presence at the festival, offering employers advice on how they can join the 95 volunteer Enterprise Advisers currently paired with schools across Norfolk and Suffolk. Enterprise Advisers play a vital role in helping young people map the pathway to achieving their career aspirations and informing schools careers leads of industry trends and changes.
The LEP is also partnering with businesses, schools and colleges working in the Agri Food tech sector to increase engagement with students who might not have considered the broad range of careers available in agriculture, agritech or food processing and production.
The festival will also see the launch of the final four Sector Skills Plans for industry sectors in Norfolk and Suffolk, with detailed plans to address futures kills demand in Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering, Financial Services, Ports and Logistics, and the Cultural sector. New Anglia is the only LEP area in the country to have developed Skills Plans specifically for its individual sectors. Pans are developed by the industry sectors, in partnership with the New Anglia Skills Board and supported by Skills Reach. This approach means puts business at the heart of the process, taking into account industry trends and acting accordingly.
Doug Field, chair of New Anglia LEP, said: “We want every business in Norfolk and Suffolk to sign up to the New Anglia Youth Pledge. Improving the availability and quality of apprenticeships and work placements will help narrow the skills gap we face both now and in the future.
“The growth we want to see across the region and especially in Clean Energy, ICT and Digital and Agri-Food can only be delivered if we meet the demand for higher skilled jobs in these sectors and others. It’sup to all of us to work to make that happen.”
Julia Nix, Jobcentre Plus District Manager, East Anglia and chair of the New Anglia Youth Pledge Steering Group, said“We are confident this streamlined and flexible approach will help employers showcase the work they are already doing to support young people by becoming supporters of the Youth Pledge, and encourage new employers to get involved, linking them in to the myriad of initiatives and opportunities designed to help young people progress from education to employment”.
Alexandra Rowe, Marketing Director at Norwich-based manufacturing firm Greg Rowe Ltd, said “We believe that employers have a responsibility to the next generation and offering apprenticeships has always been one of the ways we try to fulfil that.
“Apprenticeships do require careful structuring and management – but they deliver real rewards –and the fact that two of our original apprentices, that we employed over 20 years ago – have since returned to work for us, is testament to just how beneficial apprenticeships can be.”