The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Young women given insight into engineering careers

21 June 2022

A group of 18 young women have gained a fascinating insight into careers in engineering through a workshop exploring the challenges of designing a future-proof hospital.

The Leeds Hospital Challenge event on Monday (June 20) 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 in 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 – as well as the UK’s largest single site maternity centre – in one building at Leeds General Infirmary. The scheme one of the 40 new hospitals the Government has committed to build by 2030 as part of its New Hospitals Programme. 

The event included a challenge based on a real-life scenario faced by Arup’s expert team in helping deliver the new hospitals. Members of Trust and Arup’s project team also held a lunchtime Q&A with the young women, to help them learn more about future career routes.

This is the first in a series of workshops on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers over the coming year. Experts in a range of disciplines from Arup will engage and collaborate with young people facing the greatest barriers to training, skills and employment opportunities, as part of Arup's commitment to the Trust’s social value initiative and the firm's local social value strategy.

Arup Hospital Challenge 1 c Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust v2

Director of Strategy at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, James Goodyear, said: “As a leading healthcare provider and 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 how we are working with our partners to make positive difference in the local community.”

The participants are among 180 young women from across West Yorkshire chosen to help increase their access to future employment opportunities. They 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.

Project Director at Arup, Derek Roberts, said: “The Leeds Hospital Challenge is an important part of our ongoing work with Leeds Teaching Hospitals and is the first in a series of STEM workshops we’re delivering in the city over the next few years.

“These events engage young people and explore the opportunities and challenges of creating spaces for health and wellness in the future. It’s so rewarding to see collaboration between our Yorkshire teams, the Trust and social enterprises such as IVE help inspire the next generation of engineers, designers and architects.”

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.

“It is only through stronger and more direct links between education and industry, that we will diversify our workforce and realise the true potential of the talent of tomorrow.”