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Bishop offers his support to the Foundation for Jobs
8:00pm Thursday 12th September 2013 in News
THE new Bishop of Durham looks set to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor by becoming patron of the Foundation for Jobs.
The Rt Revd Paul Butler said he would be pleased to continue the work of Archbishop Justin Welby, the first patron of the initiative, if he is asked to take on the role.
Foundation for Jobs has been without a patron since Archbishop Justin departed to become the most senior clergyman in the Church of England earlier this year.
Speaking about the possibility of taking on the new role, Bishop Paul said: “Employment issues are really important to me.
“The best way to lift people out of poverty is to help them into work and into good jobs.
“Local initiatives that produce jobs need to be supported as much as they can.”
Since Foundation for Jobs was launched in January 2012 to tackle youth unemployment it has worked with 1,900 young people, aged up to 24, in Darlington.
The joint initiative involves Darlington Borough Council, The Northern Echo and the Darlington Partnership of private firms and public sector organizations and has enjoyed support from businesses and industrialists across the whole North-East region.
In its first 18 months, the partnership has created 143 new apprentices, helped 1,558 school age pupils build closer links with industry and allowed 167 young people taking part in internships or eight-week work experience placements.
Alasdair MacConachie, chairman of the Foundation for Jobs, said he would welcome Bishop Paul to the project and that an official approach would be made soon.
He added: "Justin was very good but I'm sure Bishop Paul will be just as good.
"From what I've heard he has been a very good parish priest and dean. I think he will be great - he's full of energy and he has good potential."
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