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New group to engage young minds

PUBLISHED: 14:19 16 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:19 30 June 2010

CALLS for closer relationships between the business community and the next generation of workers emerged at the inaugural meeting of a new group of business leaders, entrepreneurs and young people.

CALLS for closer relationships between the business community and the next generation of workers emerged at the inaugural meeting of a new group of business leaders, entrepreneurs and young people.

The event was held at the National Skills Academy for Financial Services in St Andrews Street and was organised by City College Norwich and law firm Howes Percival. It was backed by businesses including Norwich Airport and Startrite Shoes.

Students from a wide range of backgrounds took part in the “What the next generation needs: business, skills and future government policy” seminar. The debate covered the skills and qualifications businesses require, the perception of young people in the workplace, the need for more careers advice and the requirement for more structured work experience.

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith, who chaired the meeting, said: “It is vital for Westminster to understand what Norwich and Norfolk wants in the next generation, both in business and education and I will be taking many strong points to Parliament from the seminar.”

Caroline Williams, chief executive of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, called for better opportunities for young people to be “more visible in the business community”.

Andrew Barnes, managing partner of Howes Percival, added: “Everyone in business accepts that young people are our future and we have to invest in them, but most employers would admit that they could do it in a more structured and rewarding way. It is clear from this forum that both parties want to improve understanding and communication to help ensure young people get the best start in employment possible.”

Dick Palmer, principal of City College Norwich, said, “Our collective future is in the hands of our young people and today we brought together City College Norwich students and local businesses to explore new ways of getting young minds engaged.


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