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Report reveals “frustration to aspiration” in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire

16:23 03 July 2012

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb

ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC vÉ‚ÄövǬ© 2010

Parts of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire have been branded some of the worst in the country for young people to grow up in when it comes to achieving their dreams.

According to a report called Frustration to Aspiration, published today, Great Yarmouth is second only to Knowsley on Merseyside in terms of the obstacles faced by youngsters hoping to gain top qualifications, pursue fulfilling careers and own their own homes.

Waveney, King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, and North Norfolk feature in the bottom 20 of 324 local authority areas, with Fenland, Breckland, and Norwich faring not much better.

Broadland and South Norfolk are the best performing of Norfolk districts but even they feature well within the bottom half of the table.

The report has been put together by education and training specialists Ambitious Minds and pulls together a host of figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to create a picture of the best and worst places to live when growing up.

Key factors include GCSE results – which this year saw Norfolk fall further down the national league table despite record performances by many schools – youth unemployment and house prices in relation to average earnings.

MPs and education and business leaders said the region’s performance did not come as a huge surprise and work was already under way to try to overcome issues which continued to hold young people back.

But they also insisted there was light on the horizon and, with a new focus on growing industries like green energy, improvements were on the way.

Andy Wood, chairman of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “The report makes disturbing reading and shows the depths of the challenges faced by Norfolk and Suffolk and most starkly by the populations of Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

“However there are grounds for hope and the next few years offer very significant opportunities for employment and jobs growth with the development of our energy sector.”

He said the LEP was targeting investment in tourism and encouraging growth, through the Enterprise Zone, in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft but insisted “unless we act there will be a lost generation of young people in these areas”.

The Frustration to Aspiration report took a wide range of statistics, from university admissions to child poverty, and weighted them according to the areas young people consider most important.

GCSE results, youth unemployment, the percentage of people living at home, and house prices in relation to average earnings were given the greatest weighting, although jobs density, the number of house re-possessions, and insolvency among young people were also taken into account.

Lower than average achievements at GCSE, low average earnings and high youth unemployment – particularly in Waveney and Great Yarmouth – went against our districts.

Sean McGuire, chief executive of report authors Ambitious Minds, said: “One damaging consequence of these problems has serious implications for all of us – for the first time in living memory, this generation of young people face the prospect of being financially worse off than their parents.”

Norman Lamb, MP for North Norfolk which was ranked 305th out of 324 local authority areas, said: “This is part of the challenge for the county, moving away from more traditional forms of employment. We are having to go through a transition to a new economy and, actually, we have fantastic opportunities ahead of us, particularly around the new green economy.

“Norfolk can do it, I have great confidence, but there is a way to go,” he said.

Last night Alison Thomas, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for children’s services, said the authority was investing in a range of programmes to ensure all Norfolk young people could fulfil their potential. That includes £3.5m to provide 400 apprenticeships, millions of pounds as part of the Troubled Families Programme, and funding through the Youth Advisory Boards to allow young people to play a role in distributing funding.

Mrs Thomas added: “We are moving in the right direction and remain focused on helping more of our young people achieve their ambitions.”

9 comments

  • Norman Lamb won't be concerned about schools in North Norfolk. He sent his son to Wymondham College.

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    Wandering Crab

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

  • This is aload of bull. If you have a dream or a goal to go for, then no matter where you live, if you have the desire then you can achieve anything. Some of the most talented and business like people have come from some of the worst, most deprived areas in this country and sometimes because the area is bad that can give you an extra push to achieve your goal. If you really want it then where you live won't matter. All i will say is work hard at school and college then work hard on what you want to achieve.

    Report this comment

    pa012d9924

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

  • Norman Lamb won't be concerned about schools in North Norfolk. He sent his son to Wymondham College.

    Report this comment

    Wandering Crab

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

  • @pa012d9924 you're deluded, I live in the Gt yawnmouth area, my daughter works really hard at college and a job but she ain't ever going to be chair of ICI or a barrister, her life chances have been thwarted not helped by the systems in place especially a disastrous placement with a so called apprenticeship.This meant she lost a year through no fault of her own (she worked all the time, for nothing at our encouragement whilst we tried to sort out what went wrong, the final apology letter really is something to behold but apologies didn't get her her qualifications due to the systems failure to fill in the correct paperwork) so now to go back that year I now have to fund her college course (do you have two grand to pay plus books and transport due to someone else's error? I do), that's another year not earning a decent wage (and not paying into a pension) for her doing something she thought she'd already done and knowing that it's costing £40+ a week which is needed for other things. My hat is off to her for getting back on the horse so to speak. As for you pa012 you need to take your head out of your a**e and see just what it is like in Gt Yawnmouth for prospects even with the best will in the world. I've read some idiotic comments in my time but yours is the most naive and daft in a long while.

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    fester1902

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

  • It is to be a very long transition to "green economy". One only needs to take a look at the pathetic level of anything remotely green being approved by NNDC

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    Callum Ringer

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

  • Well Norman, what are these "Traditional forms of employment" Farming? Less and less people on the land for generations. Manufacturing? job losses across that whole sector for decades. Supermarkets? Part time jobs on the whole. Most young people leave North Norfolk and who can blame them. I would hate to be a young person trying for a career these days, the only answer our M.Ps. have is to keep them at school. Sorry Norman, you and other M.Ps. of any party care little for the youth of today, if you did you would have done something about the decline of jobs for youngsters.

    Report this comment

    Born61

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

  • "He said the LEP was targeting investment in tourism" Rubbish. Tourism is a low paid, long hour, slave labour,industry which only benefits the certain few. Industry is what is required and not the 'family' run outfits either. It is also no good depending on the outer disaster either. That is a dead duck before we start.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

  • "Great Yarmouth is second only to Knowsley on Merseyside in terms of the obstacles faced by youngsters hoping to gain top qualifications, pursue fulfilling careers and own their own homes". It is and always has been not what you know but who you know. If you know nothing about a job, but are friendly with a company director then you will get a job. No problem. Another problem is that a lot of these companies are family run. If you are a member of 'the family' you will get a job, regardless of how useless you are. My advice to any youngster is do what I did. Move away, and get plenty of experience and qualifications. That is the only way anyone will get on in Yarmouth.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

  • we will have to resort to traditional types of employment when norman lamb has pushed through the tory plans to make it easier to sack people ! mark my words it will happen !

    Report this comment

    Double Bill

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

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