Stock young businessman. Picture: Pixabay.

Employers are being urged to back a new £800,000 project set to help young people take their first steps on the career ladder and give an insight into the world of work.

The Youth Pledge for Employer, launched last week, is a European-funded project, aiming to develop opportunities for young people to take part in work-based experiences with help from a wide range of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across Norfolk and Suffolk.

Funded by the European Social Fund (ESF), the two-year project is a partnership between Norfolk and Suffolk county councils and The Mason Trust, which supports young people in both counties aged 12 to 25 with their career options and personal development.

The project is also supported by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership,

Graham Plant, deputy county council leader and cabinet member for growing the economy, said: “This project is vital to Norfolk and Suffolk’s recovery as we work together to support our young people to actively get involved in the world of work.

“Deciding what to be when they grow up can be stressful time for young people. 

“We’re looking for SMEs to join the Youth Pledge project to help demystify the world of work. 

“It’s about throwing open the doors to reveal the range of careers available and provide valuable insights and real-life experiences for our future workforce.”

A county council spokesman said: “Employers can get involved with the Youth Pledge at a range of different levels, from something as simple as pledging to provide an hour’s talk or a site visit, right the way through to offering an apprenticeship or a job.”

To get the project up and running, the team is looking for businesses interested in hosting work inspiration events.

This could include giving a talk or hosting a virtual tour of a workplace for young people in their area.

C-J Green, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership chairman, said the project would bring businesses together across Norfolk and Suffolk to support young people with insight days, career inspiration and real opportunities.

Find out more at: www.norfolk.gov.uk/youthpledge