Education Landmark for Hemel Hempstead
Introduced by the Principal, Gill Worgan, this new landmark for Hemel Hempstead is the first phase of the redevelopment of the College and home to its growing range of modern courses. In addition, the building is integral to the town centre's ongoing regeneration, and is a major investment in college provision – offering facilities that are available to local businesses as well as local people. During her presentation, Gill stated, "This is a landmark moment for West Herts College and we're looking forward to supporting the local economy and engaging with local businesses."
With further presentations from Skillmakers and a case study of a successful apprenticeship partnership between the College and Hightown Housing Association, the event was further demonstration of the Ambassadors' aim to connect local business with local educators.
The UK has seen a decline in investment in training over the past 20 years which has resulted in a shortage of skills across a number of sectors and occupations. The Government's Apprenticeship reforms will address this from entry-level jobs to degrees.
Hightown Housing Association have "upped our game" in terms of the apprenticeship scheme and seen "massive benefits" as a result, with recent research from the National Apprenticeship Service reporting that 88% of employees participating in the new Apprenticeship Scheme have seen a more satisfied workface. Additionally, Tribal Group recorded an 85% higher retention rate.
The focus of this brand new campus at Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead, will be 16-18-year-olds predominantly for technical and professional courses; students will benefit from the latest facilities, technology – including smart screens throughout the College – study spaces, kit and equipment. Phase 1 is complete, with Phase 2 under consideration.
Skillmakers, an organisation founded to bridge the gap between employers and local skills to connect the right people at the right time, is unique at this time in the wealth of consolidated information it provides on its website at www.skillmakers.co.uk.
Richard Moore, Programme Director for Skillmakers, described their role as a "triage for businesses", offering free-of-charge advice and guidance on training, recruitment and corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Gary Stringer, the Place Manager for Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassadors, commented, "This event and the partnership between the college, Skillmakers and the local business community amplifies what the Ambassadorship is all about with skills provision identified by our members as a major concern. This is a very exciting time for Hemel Hempstead and the wider Dacorum Borough, and the new campus is another exciting and innovative development delivering real change in our town."
For further information on West Herts College, visit www.westherts.ac.uk or for information on the Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassadors, visit www.investhemel.co.uk or contact Gary Stringer, Ambassador Place Manager, on tel: 01442 228808.