Business and Work in Kent

The well connected county of Kent has a vibrant business community and is arguably one of the best counties in the UK to live work, be employed or set up your own company.

Kent statistics regularly show a slightly below UK-average level of unemployment, while wages are generally slightly above. Major private sector employers in Kent:

  • BAE systems in Rochester
  • Abbott Laboratories in Queenborough
  • Saga in Folkestone

Major public sector employers are the NHS and the local authorities based in Tunbridge Wells, Tunbridge and Malling, Thanet, Swale, Shepway, Sevenoaks, Maidstone, Gravesham, Dartford, Canterbury, Ashford and Medway.

The county’s borders with London, East Sussex, Surrey and Essex mean that commuting to work in these other strong local economies is a popular option for many, while its connection to mainland Europe mean that many involved in European or International business base themselves in Kent. In 2005, over 9% of Kent residents commuted to work in London, although we are likely to see a steady fall in this figure as business in the UK becomes more decentralised and as remote working becomes more common.

The local and international connections mentioned above give a base in Kent much potential as a business base. Doing business in London is viable without large transport costs, while enabling much lower overheads than are often likely when based in the capital. Those looking to export physical products to mainland Europe have good reason to base themselves in Kent to benefit from the Channel Tunnel rail link to France. The University of Kent, Canterbury Christchurch University and Mid-Kent College give access to a large number of graduates within the county itself, while there is a huge number of skilled workers across the county and it’s neighbours.