How Bradford Manufacturing Weeks will provide a boost for Yorkshire's economy

A celebration of Yorkshire's rich manufacturing heritage will be staged next month.

Jordan Smith, former apprentice and newly qualified Product Development Technician, Christeyns UK Ltd

Virtual site tours, manufacturer talks and a competition to design a fun and practical hygiene station for schools and colleges are included in Bradford Manufacturing Week 2020.

Manufacturers of products ranging from textiles and laundry detergents to automotive components and process chemicals have signed up to provide career insight, advice and guidance to pupils from more than 35 schools across Bradford district.

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Led by West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and with primary sponsorship from Barclays, Bradford Manufacturing Weeks encourages students to take up a career in manufacturing.

A spokesman said: "Due to Covid-19 the two-week initiative from October 5 to 16 is entirely online with more than 40 manufacturer events spread across 10 days."

Nick Garthwaite, founder of the initiative, chairman of West and North Yorkshire Chamber of commerce and managing director of laundry detergent manufacturer Christeyns, said he was uplifted and incredibly proud of the way the sector has stepped up during the crisis.

He added: “We all know our district’s young people have missed out on so much already this year and as an industry, a business community and a sector, we have absolutely stepped up to make sure we still deliver a careers experience that will make a difference to the lives of local youngsters – Bradford’s next generation of employees and employers.”

Delivered in partnership with Bradford-based school and career specialists Aspire-igen and with continued sponsorship and support from Barclays, E3 Recruitment, Naylor Wintersgill, Gordons LLP and Bradford Council, Bradford Manufacturing Weeks also aims to create more inspired, informed and ‘work ready’ applicants into the sector by giving pupils the chance to prepare for the workplace.

Events such as Barclays Life Skills sessions will include advice on preparing for work in a virtual jobs market.

Oastlers School in Bradford is taking part with its year 10 pupils for the third consecutive year.

Careers Lead Robert Fairbairn said: “As we adapt to this ‘new normal’ of remote engagement with employers, Bradford Manufacturing Weeks 2020 is our first chance to bring the world of work directly into our classrooms and provides an early opportunity for the whole school to engage with local businesses.

“The talks, tours and Sani-Station Challenge allows us to develop curriculum-based activities across our core subjects and we can watch and ‘bank’ the virtual tours, using them throughout the year to maximise their impact.”

Bradford Manufacturing Weeks 2020 starts on Monday 5 October with an invitation only online event including a virtual tour from launch hosts, Steeton-based manufacturer Acorn Stairlifts, an address from University of Bradford Vice Principal Shirley Congdon, an introduction to pupils new to the initiative from Beckfoot Upper Heaton school and from last year’s pupil participants.

For further details and the full timetable log on to www.bradfordmanufacturingweeks.co.uk

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James Mitchinson