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South Leeds teenagers get advice on building construction careers

Fifteen-year-old students at Cockburn School in Beeston, South Leeds, have received cutting-edge advice on construction careers from city homes developer Lovell and Leeds Federated Housing Association.

The session was organised by Lovell and Leeds Federated who are currently working together on a new development nearby at Newhall Gate and Walk, Belle Isle, which is creating 33 urgently-needed affordable homes. It follows on from a visit by the students to the Belle Isle development site last summer.

“Engaging with young people to help them discover the opportunities opened up by a career in construction is a key element of our work in local communities,” says Dan Osborne of Lovell.

Pictured Left to right, Leeds Federated development officer Robert Knowles; students Newton Conde and Jack Stead; Lovell’s Dan Osborne.

“It helps us encourage a new generation into our industry as well as being an important way of providing opportunities for residents in the places where we work. One of the things we’re offering the Leeds students is the chance to take part in supervised work placements on a local development. Opportunities like this give teenagers a rare chance to gain valuable work experience on site as well explore the challenges and excitement of working on a real-life construction project. They will also be able to see that construction jobs aren’t just about manual trades, there’s a huge variety of roles for professionals ranging from architects, planners and designers and project managers to quantity surveyors, estimators, legal teams and sales and marketing professionals.”

Cockburn School assistant headteacher Emma Husband comments: “It is incredibly important to us as a school and multi-academy trust that we work closely with local, national and international companies so students can understand the job opportunities out there for them when they leave Cockburn School. Our students who were involved in the project are currently studying GCSE Technology subjects so the programme has helped them to see how their skills learnt at Cockburn will transfer into a career in the future. We are fully committed to educating our young people around the job sectors in Leeds which are rapidly growing, one of which is construction and we hope to continue to work with Lovell in the future.”

Robert Knowles, development officer at Leeds Federated, adds: “It was great to meet the students and see them showing a real interest in a construction career. There is a great need for new affordable homes across the country at the moment and Leeds Federated is responding to that need by building over 750 new homes over the next five years.

“With such a large building programme taking place nationally, we are very pleased that Lovell offer apprenticeships, as they are an important way to train new recruits to build more homes. A career in construction can really take you places with fantastic opportunities in training and employment.”

Lovell began construction work in 2016 on 33 new houses – 20 two-bedroom and 13 three-bedroom homes – at Newhall Gate and Newhall Walk, which will all be for affordable rent through the housing association. The first residents moved in at the development last month (February).