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Workforce Overview

Ashford is characterised by a stable, skilled workforce with an historic level of low unemployment, and is poised for the creation of 28,000 jobs.

The planned growth of Ashford will greatly expand the labour market potential. This expansion will be coupled with greatly enhanced opportunities for skill development with the establishment of the Ashford Learning Campus.

The table below indicates the nature of the current workforce.


Currently at 111,000 and it is set to grow by approximately 2,000 a year providing an expanding pool of labour to prospective investors.

Already business and employment growth rates in the district have exceeded population growth. Ashford’s population grew by an estimated 12% between 1998 and 2005, more than twice the rate of growth for Kent as a whole (5%). 

Economically active workforce

46,000 employment in Ashford has risen by 22% between 1998 and 2005 compared with 17% in the Kent County Council area and 10% across the South East as a whole. 

Access to potential employees within a drive time distance

20 minutes  – 69,738
40 minutes  – 534,341                
60 minutes  – 1,207,335

Employment Rate for working age people in Ashford 81%  - significantly higher than Kent or the South East.
Labour costs

20% less than London, Ashford has one of  the lowest workplace-based average gross weekly earnings figure in Kent and Medway.