Students Jack Stead and Skye Dodd with John Rutherford

Students try out construction careers

Going behind the scenes at Leeds Federated's affordable housing development taking shape in Belle Isle, South Leeds, proved a constructive experience for Design and Technology students from nearby Cockburn School, Beeston.

The Year Nine pupils enjoyed a supervised tour of the new development in Newhall Gate and Walk, Belle Isle, where city-based partnership housing developer Lovell is building 33 much-needed affordable homes for Leeds Federated Housing Association.

Organised by Leeds Federated, Lovell and CHY Consultancy, the visit gave the 13- and 14-year-old students the opportunity to find out more about the house-building process by talking to the site team and trying their hand at bricklaying, guided by Lovell experts.

Lovell and Leeds Federated will continue their work with Cockburn School in the autumn by visiting the school and discussing issues surrounding the UK’s need for new homes with the students.

Leeds Federated’s head of development, Steve Ellis says: “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 says: “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.”

Lovell began construction work last autumn 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 scheme is part of Leeds Federated’s Affordable Homes Programme and is funded by the Homes and Communities Agency and was developed with support from Leeds City Council. The construction team have now completed work on the roads and sewers serving the new development with work also under way on the structure of the new homes. The first completed homes are set to be handed over to Leeds Federated later this year.