On Thursday 17th March 2011 Digby (Lord) Jones, former head of the CBI and outspoken champion of business, enterprise and youth opportunity came to Mid Norfolk to celebrate a new Work Experience Bursary launched by local business people for local school leavers- on an evening that raised £3000.
Special guest and speaker at the launch event, held at the World Horse Welfare Centre and attended by over 100 members of the local business and education community, Digby addressed the need for a ‘can-do’ culture amongst youth and called on rural Norfolk to take a lead in guiding “a vital generation”.
Launched as part of The Norfolk Way, the Project to promote rural enterprise set up 3 years ago by George Freeman, now MP for Mid Norfolk, The Norfolk Way Enterprise Bursary is aimed at helping Norfolk school leavers between 16 and 18 who are not going on to academic studies to access opportunities and work experience in a business, organization or sector that they are interested in but would otherwise not be able to access. Successful applicants will receive:
- Guidance from a successful local entrepreneur ‘Mentor’ to help them fulfil their dream.
- Support from The Norfolk Way Trustees and Mentor in accessing a 3-6 month work experience Programme in a sector of their choice.
- Financial support for living expenses, travel to work, and any special costs (e.g. for equipment or clothes) the experience may require.
The aim is to encourage entrepreneurial thinking and help young people gain the sort of practical work skills employers look for.
Mr. Freeman said: “Norfolk can be a tough place for youngsters seeking opportunities to get on.
“If we’re serious about rebalancing the economy with a renaissance of British enterprise and more sustainable local economies, we need to be helping school leavers who are not academic and creating opportunities for them.
“We don’t need to wait for a Government strategy to do this. We all have a responsibility to the next generation”.
The inaugural 2011 Award is kindly being sponsored by Norfolk businessman Henry Cator, and the Mentor will be Ali Clabburn, founder of Attleborough based Liftshare and former winner of Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Follow this link to see the EDP coverage of the Bursary.