Even days later I am still buzzing at the success of my Jobs Fair at Ashford College. We could only just about cram in all the employers and organisations who wanted to attract new recruits, despite taking all the public space on the first two floors.
The organisations themselves were not disappointed by the constant flow of customers. We don’t have exact figures, but there were well over 250 during the three hours, and I was impressed by the variety of ages who turned up. I am really grateful to the College and their staff for the welcome they gave everyone, and the facilities which allowed my own team (hard-working as ever!) to provide suitable refreshments. There was not much to take away at the end.
So it was a good morning, and we will do it again next year. Which gives rise to the obvious question, why? Ashford has unemployment even below the low national rate, so why do people feel the need for a Jobs Fair?
There are a number of answers. The first is that individual employers may be expanding, like Kingswood Hall, the former Police Training College, whose adventure-based training is looking for dozens of new people. The second is that some organisations which require physical attributes for their front-line jobs need to persuade people that there are still many admin jobs that need doing. Kent Fire Service explained this to me at the Fair. The third is that some organisations, like the Princes Trust, just permanently need new volunteers.
Whatever the reason I think most people went away happy. It was a good way of showing Ashford working together as a community, which is always important. With a final thank you to our sponsors HR GO, I look forward to the 2020 Fair.