Students gain some on-site experience in Leeds

Design and technology students from Cockburn School, Beeston recently got some valuable on-site work experience at a new affordable homes scheme in Leeds, thanks to partners Leeds Federated Housing Association, Lovell and CHY Consultancy.

The Year 9 pupils, aged 13 and 14, were taken on a supervised tour of the new 33-unit development in Newhall Gate and Walk, Belle Isle, showing them elements of the housebuilding process and giving them a chance to talk to members of the site team, as well as some practical experience at bricklaying. This autumn, the developers will visit the school to talk to pupils there about the UK’s need for new homes.

Leeds Federated’s head of development, Steve Ellis, remarks: “The site visit provided an opportunity for the students to learn more about affordable housing and the role of housing associations like Leeds Federated in providing good-quality homes.

“There is a national housing shortage and we want to encourage them to consider a career in construction. We also want to inspire them to think about what affordable housing might look like in the future and how it could be built quickly and cost effectively to meet the growing demand for homes.”

Lovell regional managing director Robert Adams adds: “This kind of event is a great way of opening students’ eyes to the different career opportunities available in the construction industry, enabling them to learn from people already working in the business, gain practical experience and take a close-up look at life on site.

“For us, it’s also about extending the benefits of the work we do more widely, allowing us to create learning opportunities for local young people in the areas where we are building homes and encourage more teenagers to start thinking about construction as a potential career.”

Emma Husband, assistant headteacher at Cockburn School, says: “We are most grateful to Lovell and Leeds Federated for giving our year 9 students the opportunity to experience first-hand the way in which the skills learnt in school can be transferred into the workplace.

“The Year 9 students were really engaged by the talk around the trades within the construction industry helping them consider their next steps after leaving Cockburn in Year 11. They also particularly enjoyed the chance to try out some of the practical skills on the site such as bricklaying.

“At Cockburn we ensure our students receive high-quality careers guidance. We prepare them not only with academic qualifications but to aspire to ambitious and exciting futures. We work closely with a number of local and national employers and hope to continue to strengthen our link with Lovell in the future.”

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