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‘Great enthusiasm at the JobCentre Plus in King’s Lynn’





In his weekly column, MP James Wild discusses employment.

There was great enthusiasm at the JobCentre Plus in Lynn last Friday as over 80 local businesses, QEH and public sector employers, voluntary and community groups, and council representatives attended the launch of ‘Norfolk for Jobs’.

The aim of this new programme is to help more people into work and support employers in the Lynn area fill job vacancies and provide solutions to local skills gaps.

The launch of Norfolk For Jobs
The launch of Norfolk For Jobs

Latest figures show Norfolk’s success in continuing to create jobs with unemployment locally below the national average. So what’s the issue with jobs? Well, youth unemployment is above the national average. And the top issue raised by companies on my regular visits is filling jobs available now whether in hospitality, engineering, or other sectors.

So we need to match people without jobs to the roles that are available and build an even more vibrant labour market for local residents.

Research by Norfolk Community Foundation and JobCentre Plus identified various barriers young people cite that are holding them back including a lack of confidence, transport, and the need for more flexible recruitment processes and more support to get ready for interviews and work.

The launch was an opportunity for Jobcentre Plus, partners, and providers to showcase the significant support on offer including with workplace experience, workplace trials, apprenticeships, employability sessions and jobs fairs, or helping with additional costs when taking on disabled people.

These initiatives will help to build up skills and confidence in young people as well as support people considering a change in career including through the mid-life MOT programme – a scheme offering advice and support to 45–55-year-olds in work.

In launching the programme, I was very pleased to see such a positive reaction to the assistance that is available – support many employers were not aware of.

A key theme of the morning was how by working together employers, Jobcentre Plus, and partners can help more people move into jobs. Through this initiative and by raising awareness hopefully more firms will now take up the support on offer. Any employers keen to find out more can either contact me or the team at norfolk.4jobs@dwp.gov.uk

The model we are seeking to develop in West Norfolk through Norfolk for Jobs has already been a success in Norwich, led by my colleague Chloe Smith MP who set out some of the lessons learned in one of the sessions.

This launch comes at an exciting time for Lynn and West Norfolk. Through the £25million Town Deal, we are already investing in projects to boost skills through the School of Nursing Studies; realise the huge potential of Shakespeare’s St. George’s Guildhall; create a better library, adults skills, and community hub; enhance the riverfront and improve transport links.

A further £24 million secured for the Southgates project will transform the entrance to the town. And in the Budget two weeks ago another £20 million of long term funding was announced for Lynn for heritage, transport, and safety projects.

This is unprecedented investment in the town by this government to raise aspiration and boost opportunity in Lynn and wider West Norfolk.

By working together on Norfolk for Jobs there is the real opportunity to help more people get the positive benefits of a job while investing in and growing our local economy.



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