Posted on 23 June 2022

During a specially organised tour and careers talk, Leeds College of Building students gained first-hand insight into the city’s railway station and its value to the region’s construction and engineering industries.

Nearly a dozen BTEC Construction & the Build Environment students joined partners Leeds City Council, Network Rail, and BAM Nuttall to visit all aspects of Leeds City Station – from the platforms and concourses used by thousands of people every day through to the structure of the viaduct and station developed from when railways arrived in the city during the 1830s.

The tour also included an explanation of the Sustainable Travel Gateway scheme beginning in September, which will transform the station’s main entrance and surrounding area to make it safer and easier for people to enter and exit the station, allowing for the significant increase in passenger numbers predicted over the coming years.

Students arrived at the station following a tour from the College’s South Bank Campus, where officers from Leeds City Council and BAM Nuttall were able to showcase the scale of ongoing and proposed development in the South Bank area. This included Aire Park, the David Oluwale Bridge, many residential and commercial development sites, and the land safeguarded by the Department for Transport for HS2 rail.

The tour and talk aimed to give students a broader understanding of the importance of the station to the wider regeneration of the city centre, and how it fits closely with the ongoing developments. It also gave students a broader understanding of the many career opportunities associated with both development of the station and the wider area around it.

Following the tour, students were provided with information on how to apply for work placements with Leeds City Council, BAM Nutall, and partners.

Angela Lawson, Leeds City Council’s Head of Station Development, said:

“These are exciting times for both Leeds City Station and the city as a whole because of the pace and scale of development in the South Bank. This was an important opportunity to demonstrate the valuable role the station has – not just in growing to accommodate current and future demand for rail services, but also its role in supporting further investment in the city.

“These students will be part of the future of construction and engineering in our city and the wider region, and it was great to see them so engaged and interested both in construction and in the opportunities our rail station and city will provide.”

Emma Pearson, Employability Officer at Leeds College of Building, said:

“Thanks to all partners for making this experience happen for our students. This was a fantastic opportunity to see firsthand how a variety of specialisms feed into construction projects and how these initiatives positively impact the regional economy.

“By speaking to construction professionals working on live sites, our second year BTEC students can see how the theory they have learned in the classroom is used in practice. It also brings to life the many rewarding career opportunities available after they finish their training on a Civil Engineering pathway."

The tour and talk followed an initial event at the college last October, where Leeds City Council and partners spoke to students about the construction and engineering opportunities to be created by the station’s redevelopment.