Employment in STEM is continuing to grow, with 6% of all jobs in Hertfordshire set to be within related sectors by 2022. To meet this growth, Hertford Regional College (HRC) have relaunched a suite of STEM workshops at its Broxbourne campus, including science, bricklaying and carpentry, supported by £115,000 funding, including a £50,800 Local Growth Fund investment from Hertfordshire LEP.

The funding has provided new tools, equipment and industry-standard technology to improve the learner experience, including the delivery of lessons in Building Information Modelling (BIM); one of the most sophisticated systems for engineering and construction professionals.

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

Norman Jennings, Operations Director at Hertfordshire LEP, said: “The new and improved workshops at HRC will equip students with vital skills sought by employers across the county. 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.”

To mark the relaunch, Hertfordshire LEP representatives, HRC senior leaders and governors, and local employers gathered at the college’s Broxbourne campus to take part in a tour and demonstrations of the new equipment, highlighting the positive impact the investment will have on local students and businesses.

Student Nasir Nazim said: “I’ve really noticed the difference since last year in Construction. The new IT room makes revising for tests easier and the upgraded power tools that we use to complete tasks are the same or, in some cases, better than what I use on site.”

Ryan Cowell, Director of STEM at HRC, said: “We are most grateful that Hertfordshire LEP continues to support STEM subjects at HRC, ensuring the future sustainability and skills development of all individuals 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.”

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.”

Visit www.hrc.ac.uk for more information.