North Hertfordshire College officially launched the Construction Hub on the 8th of February with an exclusive event at the NHC Engineering and Construction campus.

NHC welcomed Mayor Sandra Barr and Councillor Sharon Taylor OBE to celebrate the launch, as well as representatives from Stevenage Borough Council, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), and from the Hub’s partner organisations including Galliford Try, Mulalley & Co, and Wates. Attendees heard from key stakeholders about the Construction Hub’s mission, received a tour of the facilities at NHC’s Engineering and Construction Campus, and even got to see some students in action.

Nick Price, Director of Operations at Mulalley & Co, said: “Being a founding partner of Stevenage Works, it was a pleasure to meet some of the students and teachers. It was clear that the partnerships we have forged with North Hertfordshire College, Stevenage Borough Council, and the CITB is having a demonstrable impact on the lives of the students and teachers, and we look forward to continuing our support of the new Construction Hub.”

The NHC Construction Hub offers training, apprenticeships, career mentoring, and work experience to local people looking to work or currently working in the construction industry. The Hub and its partnerships will also mean that these people will be ready for both employment and working safely on-site. This will in turn help transform the region’s economy by providing the construction industry with the skills needed now and for the future.

This collaborative project is funded through the CITB’s Onsite Experience commission and is supported by Stevenage Borough Council, Stevenage Works, and the Hertfordshire LEP. Located in the heart of the SG1 regeneration programme, the training facility offers a wide range of full and part-time construction courses to meet industry needs.

On the topic of the connection between the Construction Hub and the Stevenage regeneration programme, Cllr Sharon Taylor OBE, leader of Stevenage Borough Council, said: “We are delivering a £1bn transformation of our Town Centre whilst also building hundreds of new social and affordable homes along with investing £m’s to improve our tenants’ council homes. It is vital to us that local people benefit as much as possible from these important investments. With that in mind, I am delighted that we are working in partnership with North Hertfordshire College, Job Centre Plus, and our developers/contractors through our innovative ‘Stevenage Works’ initiative to run the Construction Hub which will provide our residents with high-quality training and employment opportunities.”

The NHC Construction Hub delivers further collaboration with major contractors and Hertfordshire Job Centre Plus to deliver a flexible pre-employment work experience and training solution. Employers within the construction industry utilise the Hub to offer on-site experiences as part of their recruitment process. This helps to identify the personal attributes and qualities of potential recruits and provide them with an insight into day-to-day site practice, valuable onsite trade experiences which ensures candidates are better prepared to enter the construction industry.

Reflecting on the experience of the Construction Hub so far, Kit Davies, Principal of North Hertfordshire College, said: “We are really excited about this project; it brings together college training, industry partners, regeneration schemes, and local people to build skills and opportunities in the construction sector. At a time when the construction industry is looking to expand, upskill, and train new and motivated individuals, the NHC Construction Hub provides the facility, resources, and partnerships to achieve this.

“Our employer partners have been essential in this process, providing the knowledge and support for developing minds, and opening up opportunities and experiences for students of all ages. We have seen many successful collaborations come through the Hub already, and our students have gone on to begin their construction careers as a result of the opportunities the Hub brought to them. It was great to celebrate these successes with our industry partners and representatives of Stevenage Borough Council. We look forward to expanding on these successes in the future.”