Hertfordshire LEP and the Weldability-SIF Foundation have jointly invested in welder training facilities at Oaklands College, Welwyn Garden City, and West Herts College, Kings Langley.
The Oaklands College facility houses six welding bays and is kitted out with industry-standard equipment. This includes a Virtual Learning Environment to allow students to train digitally and safely before handling real equipment.
West Herts College’s dedicated welder training suite includes 10 fully equipped welding bays, an eLearning studio and a new virtual reality welding hub.
Hertfordshire LEP has invested in the facilities as part of its commitment to skills development across the county. Our priorities include improving the quality and quantity of apprenticeships and coordinating the county’s approach to STEM-related activities. Another LEP aim is to deliver higher level skills to meet skills gaps in key sectors such as advanced manufacturing. We are also working to enhance opportunities through lifelong learning and help people get back into employment.
At Oaklands College, the welding facility supports existing courses including engineering, welding apprenticeships, and short introductory welding courses for individuals looking to start a welding career or gain additional skills. Specifically, it will support 40 Level 2 and Level 3 welding and fabrication apprenticeship starts; 390 unemployed learners to complete training and secure jobs; pre-employment skills development for 520 full-time and traineeship students; and 145 employers who will receive additional welding-based skills development solutions.
The West Herts College facility teaches young people and adults the skills required to achieve welding qualifications, with a special focus on growing part-time welding provision. The college has increased its employer engagement activity through Together Training and college-based apprenticeship provision to secure more welding/engineering fabrication apprenticeships from levy paying and SME employers.
Hertfordshire LEP invested £136.8k from the Local Growth Fund toward the facility at West Herts College, and £85.5k at Oaklands College, with co-funding from the Weldability-SIF Foundation which is actively encouraging the development of new welder training facilities across the country.
Oaklands College and West Herts College are working together to provide progression pathways for Level 4 apprenticeships.
This project was approved by the board on the 19th November 2015.