New virtual and hands-on welding centre opens in Welwyn Garden City

Students use the new virtual welding training equipment at the opening of the new welding training f

Students use the new virtual welding training equipment at the opening of the new welding training facility at Oaklands College. - Credit: Archant

A new welding centre has opened at Oaklands College in Welwyn Garden City.

It has been made possible through funding from firms in the industry which support the charity, Weldability Sif Foundation, and the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Representatives from both parties and a host of invited guests from the community came to celebrate the centre’s opening.

The brand new dedicated welding training suite houses six welding bays, kitted out with industry-standard equipment plus fully-immersive virtual welding equipment providing a complete virtual learning environment, which allows students to train digitally and safely before undertaking the real thing.

The new centre will support the college’s existing courses such as engineering as well as supporting those working on the newly launched welding apprenticeships.

The college also plans to offer short introductory welding qualifications for individuals looking to start a career in welding or gain additional skills.

This is part of the ongoing strategy from the Weldability Sif Foundation Charity to proactively encourage the development of new welder training facilities across the UK, with Hertfordshire LEP funding as part of its investment in skills development across the county.

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Principal and chief executive of Oaklands College Zoe Hancock said: “We are proud to be able to now provide virtual and hands-on training which sets our students up to match the needs of the industry.

“By partnering with sector-led foundations like Weldability Sif, we can provide state of the art facilities and, in time, skilled professional welders who provide such a vital role to the wider economy.”