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Members of The House of Lords Built Environment Committee recently undertook a visit to West Herts College to explore skills development for the delivery of modern methods of construction (MMC) homes. The committee engaged in discussions with both tutors and students, aiming to assess the effectiveness of MMC training, as part of their inquiry into the future of MMC.

During their visit, committee members had the opportunity to explore the state-of-the-art workshops and facilities at West Herts College, gaining first-hand insights into the advancements in construction education. This was followed by a Q&A session where students, college staff and representatives from Donaldson Timber Systems, our MMC support partner, were asked by members of the Committee for their views on MMC and skills training.

Gill Worgan, Principal and CEO at West Herts College said: "We were delighted to welcome members of the House of Lords Built Environment Committee and colleagues from Donaldson Timber Systems to our Construction and Engineering Centre at our Hemel Hempstead campus.

“The visit provided a valuable platform for discussions surrounding the evolution of construction skills and the pivotal role modern methods of construction play in shaping the industry's future. At West Herts College we’re working closely with employers such as Donaldson Timber Systems to ensure that our students are equipped with the modern skills required to step into careers in the construction sector."

To further enhance their understanding, the committee embarked on a Category 2 MMC development site visit to Spencer's Park in Hemel Hempstead where Donaldson Timber Systems are utilising MMC for building new timber-framed homes. Donaldson Timber Systems outlined the benefits of MMC timber-framed homes, showcasing to the Committee the practical application of modern construction methods on an active construction site.

Donaldson Timber ServicesSimon Horn, Technical Development Manager at Donaldson Timber Systems added: “The partnership with West Herts College has been an all-round positive experience and clearly demonstrates business and education working together in the community. The need to improve how we build is hugely important, in regard to the environmental and energy challenges we face. Therefore, having the ability to inform and enhance the knowledge understanding of learners, for timber frame MMC build systems, is real positive and a win, win situation.”

The visit aimed to foster understanding of the challenges and opportunities in skills development for modern construction techniques. By engaging with both educational institutions and businesses utilising MMC, The House of Lords Built Environment Committee seeks to understand the barriers to the increased delivery of MMC homes.

Lord Moylan, Chair of The House of Lords Built Environment Committee said: “The visit was very informative and helpful to our inquiry.” Lord Moylan further added “I know members were particularly interested to see and hear about the successes of Category 2 MMC open and closed panel timber building systems.”