Local Lib Dem campaigner Jasper Gerard has worked tirelessly to create more apprenticeships in Maidstone, working with many local campaigners and businesses in the community. In late 2014, a petition that he created calling for more local apprenticeships drew more than 3,000 signatures from local people.
As Maidstone approaches its 3000th apprentice, Jasper is keen to link up more young people with businesses looking for apprentices. He urges both of these groups to get in touch with him via his website for assistance.
Apprentices receive training, on the job work experience and a step up the career ladder, while businesses can take a leadership role in the community and expand their workforces.
The benefits of apprenticeships are clear: a fifth of all apprentices progress to higher education while higher-level apprenticeships can boost lifetime earnings by £150,000.
Jasper's work reflects the achievements of the Liberal Democrats in government, who have delivered more than two million apprenticeships in England.
On a visit to Mid Kent College, Jasper said:
'Seeing the dedication of apprentices, young men and increasingly young women at places such as Mid Kent College is inspirational. There are apprenticeships in everything, from mechanical engineering to accountancy ' a young person can even train to be a flight attendant in a real life cabin.
'By giving people the training and motivation as soon as they leave school, they then go on to well-paid and satisfying careers, which is brilliant for them and brilliant for all of us as it helps build a stronger economy and a fairer society.'