Developer forms new alliance to support diversity

Social enterprise Ahead Partnership has formed a new partnership with Developer and Asset Manager MEPC to support diversity and to engage students from disadvantaged areas of Leeds.
The first event taking place as part of the programme is Women of the Future, which will see nearly 50 female students from across three Leeds secondary schools invited to Wellington Place later this month, to take part in a morning of interactive careers activities.
The main purpose of the programme is to demonstrate to young women the variety of business sectors and industries operating in the city, outside of the traditional norm. By working with businesses located at Wellington Place, such as Netpremacy, Mazars, Shulmans, Investec, Willis Towers Watson, Equifax, The Crowne Plaza, Wates and Sainsburys, the programme hopes to engage and inspire students around their future careers.
Kickstarting with a keynote speech from a Wellington Place business leader, and followed by a speed networking style exercise, students will have the opportunity to meet business volunteers from all organisational levels – from Apprentice to Managing Partner. Students will also be invited to take part in small employer-led workshops encouraging confidence in the workplace, communication skills and workplace etiquette.
Stephanie Burras, Chief Executive of Ahead Partnership, said: “MEPC’s Wellington Place development has formed an outstanding new urban quarter for Leeds and it’s fantastic to have the opportunity to bring a group of young people down to the area to see for themselves the multiplicity of businesses operating in the city as they embark on their careers.”
Dominique Simcox, Head of Customer Experience at MEPC Wellington Place, said:“We’re always looking for ways to give back to and engage with the wider Leeds community, so when we heard about the great work Ahead Partnership do, we knew this was a perfect fit for us. Wellington Place is made up of a wide variety of businesses, from professional services to tech and finance, which means the scheme will allow young people to engage with a diverse range of employers and people at all levels and stages of their career.
“It’s a very exciting prospect and we’re thrilled to be working with Ahead Partnership to deliver a programme of events across the year. We hope that through our work can help to inspire the next generation of young people and challenge any preconceptions that they may have about office environments and career opportunities.”
This month’s event is the first of several engagement activities planned as part of the programme, with workplace visits and further workshops planned for the Autumn, which will broaden the initiative to further schools across Leeds.