Hertford Regional College (HRC) is upgrading its STEM workshops thanks to a funding boost from Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Employment in the STEM sector is set to continue increasing, and by 2022 6% of all jobs in Hertfordshire will be within this industry. This growth means it is vital HRC creates the most beneficial learning environments possible for learners, to ensure students are prepared for their future careers and that the needs of the local economy are met.

A suite of STEM workshops, including Science, Bricklaying and Carpentry, are being upgraded at the college’s Broxbourne campus with the help of £115,000 of funding. £50,800 of this funding was a Local Growth Fund investment from Hertfordshire LEP.

The funding will provide new tools, equipment and industry-standard technology to improve the learner experience. Most notably, the college is now able to deliver lessons in Building Information Modelling (BIM), one of the most sophisticated systems for Engineering and Construction professionals.

The upgrade will also support the transition from Apprenticeship Frameworks to Standards, ensuring the rigorous assessments can be completed to achieve student success.

Ryan Cowell, Director of STEM at HRC, comments that “We are most grateful that Hertfordshire LEP continues to support STEM subjects at HRC, ensuring the future sustainability and skills development of young people pursuing careers in Construction, Built Environment and Science-based industries. This funding will directly influence the creation of jobs and housing within Hertfordshire over the next 10 years and beyond.”

Norman Jennings, Operations Director at the Hertfordshire LEP, said: “The new and improved workshops at HRC will equip students with vital skills sought by employers in Hertfordshire. Our investment will help nurture a skilled and capable workforce to support the upwards trajectory of Hertfordshire’s key growth sectors, including Construction, Engineering and Manufacturing.”

Minister for Local Growth, Jake Berry, said: “This government is committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the UK and building a Britain fit for the future. This £50,800 investment from the Local Growth Fund will diversify the range of courses on offer to students. Upskilling the workforce is vital to meeting the future needs of Hertfordshire’s local economy – where employment in STEM sectors is expected to grow in the near future.”