Oaklands College welder training facility

The Oaklands College facility houses six welding bays and is kitted out with industry-standard equipment. The facility also houses fully immersive virtual welding equipment providing a complete 'Virtual Learning Environment' which allows students to train digitally and safely before undertaking the real thing. 

Hertfordshire LEP has invested in the facility 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. This project will help address these aims.

The centre supports existing courses including engineering, newly launched 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 who complete learning and secure jobs; 520 pre-employment skills development for full-time and traineeship students; and 145 employers who will receive additional welding-based skills development solutions.

The project received £85.5k Growth Deal funding from Hertfordshire LEP and co-funding from Weldability-Sif Foundation which is actively encouraging the development of new welder training facilities across the country.

West Herts College

A new welder training facility has also been constructed at the Kings Langley campus of West Herts College. The dedicated welder training suite includes 10 fully equipped welding bays, an eLearning studio and a new virtual reality welding hub. The facility is now in full operation, teaching young people and adults the skills required to achieve welding qualifications, with a special focus on growing part-time welding provision.

The college has also 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.

The project received £136.8K Growth Deal funding from Hertfordshire LEP and co-funding from Weldability-Sif Foundation. Oaklands College and West Herts College are now working together to provide progression pathways for Level 4 apprenticeships.