The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith visited Auto22 garage, Gravesend at the end of last month.

Launched by the young people’s catch22 charity, the Auto22 garage is a social enterprise that offers servicing and repairs for cars and light vans, providing work experience, training and apprenticeships for young people to learn mechanics.

The council has been working with Auto22 and has created employment at the Brookvale Depot for George Burman, aged 19, as an apprentice mechanic. George has been on a learning programme with Auto22 for one year and recently completed a four week work experience trial at the Brookvale Depot.

After a successful trial George has been offered a contract by the council and starts work at the depot at the beginning of February. George said ‘I’m very pleased to be starting work, I have learned a lot at Auto22 over the last year and I really enjoyed my work experience at the council. It’s exciting going to a new job where I’ve already got to know everyone and I can’t wait to start.’

Nick Brown, Director (Finance & Environment) said ‘As the Borough’s biggest employer Gravesham Council already employs a number of apprentices and it’s great news that in these difficult times we’ve been able to work with an organisation like Auto22 to create another apprenticeship and further our investment in young people within the Borough’