From education to employment

Popular Leeds business location inspires next generation of workforce talent

Businesses at Wellington Place in Leeds are celebrating another successful year of engaging young people across the city with exciting future career opportunities, through a programme delivered by Ahead Partnership and MEPC, the developer and asset manager behind the popular business location.

Volunteers from Burro Happold; the Ministry of Justice; Willis Towers Watson; Wates; and Brewin Dolphin took part in MEPC’s 2020-2021 programme of online activities, which helped to connect school students – particularly those from disadvantaged areas of the city – with the working world. Making a significant impact following a period of lost opportunities for careers education due to the pandemic, 88% of the young people that took part in the programme said that they now felt more optimistic about the future.

Last year’s programme included the interactive online #WellingtonPlaceChallenge, which saw year eight and nine students from inner-city schools gain an insight into diverse sectors – for example financial services, law and the built environment – operating from this inspirational workplace location. Students were set a challenge brief by organisations taking part, enabling them to learn more about the roles available and routes of entry into careers in growth areas, with 89% of students saying the activity gave them a better understanding of the jobs available in Leeds when they leave school.

This was shortly followed by MyExperience@ Wellington Place, an exciting two-week virtual work experience initiative. Through tasks, workshops and events that simulated the experience of working at different organisations and sectors operating from Wellington Place, students from Cockburn John Charles School were given the opportunity to gain valuable employability skills and experience. In response to the experience, 100% of students said that they felt motivated to work harder at school following the activity.

Megan Lipp, Head of Business Development at Ahead Partnership, said:

“It has been fantastic to see the continued impact of our partnership work with MEPC and organisations located at Wellington Place over the last year. The students always gain a lot from this type of activity, and it’s particularly important that we enable these experiences and connections to organisations at a time when young people have suffered the impact of lost learning and opportunities for careers learning and development.

“Last year we delivered the programme flexibly, adapting activities to take place online while still highlighting the significant careers opportunities available across sectors at this exciting quarter of Leeds and driving ambition. We look forward to being able to deliver activities onsite at Wellington Place in the future, giving students a taste of what the inspiring workplace destination – and Leeds as a wider business community – has to offer for their future careers.”

Dominique Murray, head of customer experience at MEPC, said: 

“While the pandemic has created many challenges for everyone, young people in particular have faced impacts upon their opportunities to develop from a skills and careers perspective, so it remained an absolute priority for us to continue supporting our community across Leeds.

“Wellington Place is a fantastic example of an inspiring working environment that brings together a diversity of organisations and sectors and showcases the exceptional career opportunities available here in Leeds. We’re proud to have continued working in collaboration with Ahead Partnership and many of the high-profile organisations located at the development throughout recent months, and look forward to reaching more young people and spreading the news about the vast opportunity available in 2022.”

MEPC is continuing to work with Ahead Partnership to roll-out an exciting programme of engagement activities to help improve social mobility in inner-city areas of Leeds in 2022. March will see young women from schools across Leeds get involved in networking, skills workshops and confidence coaching sessions as part of Women of the Future for International Women’s Day. Meanwhile, even more of Leeds’ young people will be able to visit the workplace and take part in workshops as part of the Wellington Place Enrichment Festival in November.

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