VolkerFitzpatrick, the construction team building the new Health Campus link road welcomed ten students from West Herts College for a site tour recently.
The company are working closely with the Health Campus partners (the council, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Kier Property), to ensure local residents and businesses benefit from the opportunities offered by the construction of the road.
Critical to this is making sure opportunities for employment, including traineeships and work experience, are taken up by local people where possible.
Ten Level 3 students from the college took a guided tour. This included an introduction to the Health Campus project and an overview of the design, planning, procurement and engineering work that takes place on the site.
Gordon Clarke, Co-ordinator for the School of Engineering at West Herts College, said; “The students particularly enjoyed the ‘walkabout’ and were amazed at the vastness of the project They were surprised, and pleased to know they could move into other areas of work once they were in the industry.’
Calvin Howe, VolkerFitzpatrick workplace manager added: “We are delighted to have welcomed the group from West Herts College to our site. Involving the community and helping to develop young people’s interest in engineering and construction is a key part of the work we do on our sites.
“We are pleased that they enjoyed their day and hope it gave them an insight into the work we do and the types of jobs they can achieve in the industry. We hope to be able to host more site tours as work continues to help support schools in the area”.
Great progress is being made on the new road and this is very apparent down at Wiggenhall Road where the new junction is being formed. The extended and enlarged culvert (flood defence mechanism) is currently in the process of being installed. The road is expected to be completed in autumn 2016 and will provide a faster route to the hospital for emergency vehicles.
The NHS granted the Trust which runs Watford Hospital £7million towards supporting the cost of the road, with the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) contributing a further £6million from its Growing Places Fund, in recognition of the importance of the Watford Health Campus scheme to the local economy.
Hertfordshire LEP has also invested £5m to upgrade facilities at West Herts College.
Hertfordshire LEP Board Member Adrian Hawkins who chairs the Skills and Employment Board said: “This is a prime example of where investing in key infrastructure projects can benefit the local community and tailor skills development to meet the needs of local employers.”