New Anglia Youth Pledge Marque to recognise Suffolk and Norfolk employers’ commitment to skills

Mark Pendlington speaking at the launch of New Anglia LEP's Youth Pledge Marque employer recognition

Mark Pendlington speaking at the launch of New Anglia LEP's Youth Pledge Marque employer recognition scheme. - Credit: Archant

A new recognition scheme has been launched to reward employers across Suffolk and Norfolk which are committed to supporting skills development withine th region’s workforce.

The Youth Pledge Marque will be awarded to businesses which pledge to create more apprenticeships or work experience placements in the next year, or which have employees involved in the Enterprise Adviser Network under which senior business leaders work to build links with schools and colleges.

It has been created by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), working with Suffolk and Norfolk county councils and the Department for Work and Pensions.

The marque, which will be free of charge, is intended to give businesses the chance to demonstrate their own commitment and encourage other employers to do the same, with a target to have half of the region’s businesses on board by 2020.

It will complement the LEP’s own New Anglia Youth Pledge, an ambition to support every young person aged from 16 to 24 into education, training, an apprenticeship or a job within three months of leaving education or employment.

Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia LEP said: “This is so much more than an attractive logo and some good intentions. It’s all about leading by example, with employers showing real commitment and giving practical help and support in inspiring young people into work.

“Businesses of all sizes are crying out for talent and good skills, and for people who understand their industry and want to develop rewarding careers. We are on their side. The future of our growing economy depends on it, and the future success of thousands of businesses relies on it too.

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“The Youth Pledge Marque will make sure that the commitment of business is recognised so everyone can see leadership in action.”

Paul Winter, chief executive of Ipswich Building Society and chair of the Greater Ipswich City Deal Board, added “The New Anglia Youth Pledge Marque will fulfil a commitment made by partners in the Greater Ipswich City Deal to help businesses promote their commitments to young people.

“It follows the success of many other City Deal projects such as the Employer Training Incentive Pilot and the establishment of the MyGo Youth Employment Centre in Ipswich.”

One of the first businesses to be awarded the Youth Pledge Marque is Lowestoft-based holidays company Hoseasons. Matt Smith, the firm’s head of HR, said: “We use apprenticeships as one of our core methods of recruitment.

“This helps us to ensure we recruit high calibre students and train them in the specific skills that we need. It’s also positive for the local area where we work with the colleges to identify real talent and offer a gateway to permanent employment and a skilled profession.”

Also in line to be recognised are Ipswich-based creative design agency Whitespace and maintenance business Need A Hand, also from Ipswich, which are offering work experience opportunities.

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