What?
In January 2016, Hertford Regional College was granted funding to purchase industry-standard specialist equipment and hardware, which has allowed them to launch a range of courses in Animation, Cinema 4D, Apps Design, Gaming Visualisation and New Technologies.

Why?
Hertfordshire has a strong and growing creative sector in the fields of animation, film, TV, digital and more recently gaming, with major employers like Leavesden and Elstree Studios based in the county. This project aligns with our Skills & Employment priority of nurturing a skilled workforce to help close the skills gap. The use of professional equipment ensures learners are trained on the latest technology and are equipped with the skills sought after by employers.

Impact
This investment has added exceptional value to the learner experience with enrolment targets for the new course already exceeded. The college’s academic team have recorded improved student engagement and progression, with 100% of students choosing to progress to higher level study during 2017/18.

Eathan Vallance, 17 years old, said: “I am really enjoying the course and have used a lot of different equipment that we didn’t get a chance to use in school – 3D printers, scanners, Wacom tablets and Macs. I have researched what the industry uses and we are using all the same technology. I have always liked art so I did the level 2 at Hertford Regional College and have surprised myself throughout the course. I now want to work in the industry and love the idea of being an animator at a film company.”

Kayleigh Nash, 17 years old, said: “This course teaches us how to use the software Photoshop and After Effects which is great because you can use them for multiple purposes. I enjoy character designing as you get to express yourself. I took a year of GCSE Art at school but this is so much better because we have the freedom to hone our skills. The Wacom pad is amazing as it gives you the chance to actually draw and animate, the 3D scanner is simple but highly effective and I am looking forward to using the 3D Maya next term. I want to go on to university and become an animator.”

In 2017, Hertford Regional College will offer a combination of digital animation and games design apprenticeships at advanced and higher levels, with the college’s Creative Enterprise management team having established relationships with Elstree and other smaller independent digital animation companies.

Funding
Hertfordshire LEP invested £20,576 from the Skills Equipment Capital Fund into this project in 2015/16.