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West Herts & Stewart Milne Construction apprenticeship

The College will be offering a new vocational apprenticeship programme in Timber Frame – Modern Methods of Construction, thanks to a collaboration between West Herts College and Stewart Milne Timber Systems (SMTS). We are encouraging future workforces to focus on timber frame building solutions, to lead the sustainability challenge.

With around 100,000 new homes needed by 2036, we are committed to scaling up our use of off-site manufacturing methods to help speed up housing delivery and meet our net zero carbon targets.

As a leader in off-site, SMTS is working with the Off-site Manufacturing Consortium in Hertfordshire, which is led by Watford Community Housing and Hertfordshire Innovation Quarter (Herts IQ) Enterprise Zone, and supported by Hertfordshire Growth Board and Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, to accelerate delivery and build expertise. This will help drive more affordable housing throughout the region, using Modern Methods of Construction and offsite manufactured timber frame.

With this partnership, 12 of our students on the two-year programme will gain a Level 2 Apprenticeship in Timber Frame – Modern Methods of Construction, while also completing theoretical and practical studies in class. The apprentices will work with SMTS trusted supply chain partners, SE Carpentry and Hyspec Carpentry and Construction.


Gill Worgan, Principal and Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to be leading the drive for sustainable house building in Hertfordshire by providing the skills so desperately needed for this growing sector to thrive. This partnership is an excellent example of the benefits that can be realised when employers and education providers work together.”

John McMahon, Director at West Herts College said: “This is an exciting opportunity for students to progress to an apprenticeship with a forward-thinking company like Stewart Milne Timber Systems.

“Students really stand to benefit from this partnership. They will pick up a modern qualification in an expanding sector while working with an industry leader – especially with the added focus of this programme on green, sustainable construction.”

Simon Horn, Technical Manager at SMTS said: “Timber frame is still regarded in many regions across the UK as a relatively new solution to the housing crisis. However, it’s a construction discipline that SMTS has long been passionate about, and we’re very excited to be sharing this passion with future workforces.

“Many of our team ‘started on the tools’ as apprentices, and we’re thrilled to now pass on our experiences. This is a great opportunity for young people to get involved, especially at a time when climate change and sustainable building practices is high on the agenda across the UK.”

Adrian Hawkins OBE, Chair, Hertfordshire LEP’s Skills Advisory Panel, said: “This apprenticeship programme will quite literally build the net zero skills needed for the future and support Hertfordshire’s green recovery. The over-arching ambition of our revised Skills and Employment Strategy is to enable Hertfordshire’s key sectors to flourish by developing a skilled workforce that responds to industry needs. By working hand in hand with business and education providers, Hertfordshire LEP can help drive sustainable growth and harness opportunities for all.”

Richard Whitehead, Chair, Herts IQ, said: “With Herts IQ, we’re creating the right conditions for offsite manufacturers and supply chains to innovate, collaborate and thrive in Hertfordshire. Now thanks to this industry collaboration, Hertfordshire is nurturing the skills needed to support a green recovery and deliver a raft of environmentally friendly benefits for residents.”

Patsy Dell, Director of Growth, Hertfordshire Growth Board said: “Hertfordshire is heralding a new era of housebuilding by embracing offsite to help deliver homes at scale to meet our future needs. This partnership will enable Hertfordshire to deliver the construction skills it needs to not only accelerate housing delivery but ensure that it is underpinned by best practice in design and sustainability, creating homes fit for the future that will support generations to come.”


The apprenticeship programme will start in February 2022 with places available to apply to now: