A group of 18 young women have gained an insight into engineering careers through a workshop exploring the challenges of designing a future-proof hospital.
The Leeds Hospital Challenge took place in the Leeds office of global built environment consultancy Arup, in partnership with Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and local social enterprise, IVE. The 14-year-old students from Bishop Young Academy, Seacroft, learned about the Trust's two new hospitals being built in the city – one for adults and a new home for Leeds Children’s Hospital – plus the UK’s largest single site maternity centre – in one building at Leeds General Infirmary. The scheme is one of the 40 new hospitals within the New Hospitals Programme.
The event included a challenge based on a real-life scenario faced by Arup’s team in helping deliver the hospitals. Members of the Trust and Arup’s project team also held a lunchtime ‘Q&A’ session with the young women, to help them explore future career routes.
In a series of workshops on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers over the coming year, Arup experts in a range of disciplines will engage and collaborate with young people facing the greatest barriers to training, skills, and employment opportunities, as part of the Arup’s commitment to the Trust’s social value initiative, and the firm’s local social value strategy.
Director of Strategy at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, James Goodyear, said: “As one of the Leeds Anchor Institutions, we want to use our influence to create positive change in the city. Building two new hospitals means we can create new education, training, and job opportunities for local young people by engaging them in the future of healthcare. This workshop is a great example of us working with our partners to make a positive difference in the local community.”
The participants – among 180 young women from across West Yorkshire chosen to help increase their access to future employment opportunities – are being supported over a two-year period by the Effective Transitions Fund, a project of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, the Careers and Enterprise Company, and JP Morgan.
Director of Skills and Employability at IVE, Chris Strong, said: “We are delighted to receive such generous support from Arup and Leeds Teaching Hospitals in this engaging event. When young people are connected with inspiring employers, through real-world experiences like this, the impact is profound, with exciting job opportunities and career paths becoming all the more possible for them.”