image: aql welcomes the workforce of tomorrow with #INLEEDSDAY2017

aql welcomes the workforce of tomorrow with #INLEEDSDAY2017

University students and businesses from across Leeds came together yesterday for #INLEEDSDAY2017, an initiative that aims to encourage graduates to stay and work in the city.

The initiative showcased the range of companies and opportunities available in the city, and is part of a wider ongoing effort to transform the region’s economy. It was organised by Ahead Partnership, a social enterprise that links businesses and communities to bring about social and economic change.

Students from the University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University and Leeds Trinity University visited aql’s Salem Chapel headquarters as part of the initiative, to take part in a competition based around ‘Diversity in the Leeds City Region’.

Students were asked to come up with innovative ideas to keep graduate talent in the city, and pitch their ideas to a panel of industry professionals, helping the students understand the range of opportunities available and introducing them to potential employers.

“It was fantastic to see the vision and inspiration the students brought to the competition. Leeds is a pretty special place – I’ve been here for 15 years and have watched the city grow from a physical and business perspective into something incredibly exciting, and I’m proud to be a part of it” said Sarah Tulip, chief operating officer, aql, adding: “there have never been more exciting opportunities for graduates in the North, particularly in the tech sector. We’re really focused on attracting the brightest, most diverse graduates – that’s what we had here yesterday, and we look forward to working with them in the near future.”

As an ambassador for the Ahead Partnership, Tulip is a regular speaker on the subjects of retaining talent and improving diversity, including delivering the keynote at Girltech earlier this year to 140 13-year-old girls about to pick their GCSE options, to encourage them to choose digital subjects. Tulip was recognised on Northern Power Women’s Future List for her work championing women in business and technology.

Building and retaining a diverse pool of talent is a key part of aql’s vision for Leeds: Its continued transformation into a digital hub and the growth of the regional economy through the Northern Powerhouse.

aql’s founder and CEO, Prof. Adam Beaumont, began his career as a lecturer at the University of Leeds and retains a foot in the education sector – he was recently made a visiting professor at the university, and is a governor of Leeds City College. Both Beaumont and aql are heavily involved in the city’s efforts to build the workforce of the future – tech-literate, entrepreneurial, and diverse.