by Helen Grant, Maidstone and the Weald MP

There are more people now in work than ever before, unemployment has remained at its lowest rate for eleven years, women in employment has reached a record rate and youth unemployment is at its lowest level since 2005. However there is still much to do…

One of my own enduring pledges for Maidstone and the Weald has been to promote local businesses and help create jobs and apprenticeships. Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the Maidstone branch of a truly vibrant organisation which is making a difference worthy of note.

Go Train helps people overcome their personal barriers into work through training, guidance and supported job searches. I met one trainee who was getting her basic maths up to scratch, and another who was a lovely Maidstone mum wanting to build-up her confidence after a break.

It was obvious during my visit that the positive vibe and brimming ‘Can Do’ mentality of the trainers washes across by the gallon to their trainees, which is a big factor in its success. Another special aspect of Go Train’s approach is that it works with, and is responsive to, the needs of local businesses.

While TK Maxx and The Range are among their larger clients, CEO Steven Wines told me the company was still relatively unknown and was looking for more employers from small and medium enterprises to add to their roster.

Speaking as an employer I’ve met many interviewees with potential who could have progressed much more quickly with a little targeted guidance and vocational training.