Local manufacturers and schools are coming together once again for this year’s Bradford Manufacturing Weeks which is bringing 4,200 manufacturing experiences for students at over 60% of the district’s secondary schools.
Bradford Manufacturing Weeks fortnight initiative begins on 7 October with a launch event hosted by Bradford-based water solutions and chemical manufacturer, Solenis, based in Low Moor.
Business leaders, local dignitaries and school pupils will visit the site to hear from Nick Garthwaite, founder of Bradford Manufacturing Weeks and MD of international chemicals and detergents manufacturer Christeyns, alongside Roger Marsh, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership Chair and David Calder, site manager of Solenis. Attendees will have a site tour and a manufacturing demonstration at the 38-acre, 500-strong site, which has been in operation since 1953.
Bradford Manufacturing Weeks (7-18 October), a West & North Yorkshire chamber initiative and led by Bradford Chamber of Commerce, is sponsored by Barclays, Naylor Wintersgill, Gordons LLP, Mitton Group, Dale Carnegie UK, E3 Recruitment, the University of Bradford and Leeds Bradford Airport. Backed by the Bradford Economic Partnership, it is a unique initiative which introduces the district’s manufacturers to young people to help boost apprenticeship numbers and showcase the range of career opportunities within this sector.
Organisers Bradford Chamber, alongside careers specialists, Aspire-igen, have introduced over 45 Bradford secondary schools to more than 65 local manufacturers, a 55% increase on employer involvement from last year and will deliver over 4,000 experiences from work placements and tours to competitions and events for 14-18-year-old school pupils.
Nick said: “This is only the second year we have run Bradford Manufacturing Weeks and almost everything has doubled in 12 months from the number of weeks we are operating across and the number of events we are holding, to the manufacturers and schools that are involved.”
Signed up Bradford-based manufacturers include, Acorn Stairlifts, Airedale Chemical, Ex-Pressed Steel Panels, Melrose Interiors, Airedale International, Thorite, Morrisons and CarnaudMetalBox.
Nick, who believes that other cities should introduce their own manufacturing weeks after the continuous growth experienced by the Chamber’s Bradford Manufacturing Weeks and Leeds Manufacturing Festival throughout October, added: “We were blown away by the impact of our 2018 initiative so have very high hopes for 2019. Success is seeing young people either secure employment or have a clearer direction of what they want to do with their careers as a result of meeting with and visiting manufacturers – and this was widely reported last year.”
The Bradford Manufacturing Weeks calendar showcases a variety of events including Apprentices Live at Keighley College on 10 October and Bradford Manufacturing Live on 15 October, where students ask a panels of apprentices, employees and manufacturers questions to gain an insight into what a manufacturing career. Bradford Apprentices Driver Awareness on 17 October at Valley Parade, Bradford City’s football ground, will emphasise the importance of road safety for future apprentices, Barclays Life Skills events will be held in schools across the district and a funding and support event will be held for manufacturers on 24 October at Keighley College.
Nick added: “We know from last year’s experience that employers learn and develop hugely as a result of listening to and meeting with the pupils so for us, the Bradford Manufacturing Weeks initiative is an incredibly important part of the Bradford careers calendar for everyone involved. It’s an initiative which we know is supporting the pipeline of future employees in this sector, in our district.”
Bradford Manufacturing Weeks 2019 runs from the 7–18 October. For more information and to register for key events see the website https://bradfordmanufacturingweek.co.uk and for regular updates follow @Bradfordmfg on Twitter.