A group of 26 University of Kent students spent the day at County Hall in Maidstone on a company experience day as a Reward on the EP scheme, where they were treated to insight into working at the council, with a focus on the Department of Law, Democracy and Governance. Students heard from the leader of the council, as well as the leaders for the opposition parties, which was very much enjoyed by those with an interest in getting involved in local politics, with a student commenting that they found the ‘intro with the leader of the political parties very informative’ and that the speakers were ‘responsive and interactive’.
Several members of staff, or ‘Officers’ as they are known in the council, also came to speak and lead sessions with the students. The Director of Law, Governance and Democracy talked a bit about what they do in the Department, roles and opportunities that there are, as well as highlighting the Graduate Scheme that they open each year. Following on from this, four members of staff from the 2022 graduate scheme gave an overview of the exciting work and projects they have been involved in. We also heard from the Aspire (young professionals) staff group who talked more about culture and teams across the council and the support that they can offer to new members of staff.
In the afternoon, students were invited to sit in on a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Sub-Committee meeting, in which elected Kent councillors and Senior council officers were scrutinising the SEND provision in the county. This was clearly the highlight of the day for many students with students commenting that ‘the chance to hear a committee meeting in person was really appreciated’ and ‘the committee meeting was fantastic!’
It was certainly an enlightening day for all students who were lucky enough to be able to attend! Students commented that ‘it was a really positive learning experience’ and ‘I really enjoyed the day and learnt many things about how the council works thank you!’. We would like to say a big thank you to Ryan Thomas and over members of staff at the council for organising such a fantastic day for our students and for supporting the EP scheme this year!