Task Force looks to improve manufacturing talent in…

Task Force looks to improve manufacturing talent in West Yorkshire

A manufacturing task force set up by Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, has released their recommendations to make manufacturing in the region more competitive, innovative and attract more diverse, young talent.

The Task Force is made up of manufacturing leaders from every part of West Yorkshire. Representatives from a range of industries and organisations have contributed to the report 

The report sets out four ambitious missions for the sector in the region.

Mission 1: enable growth in West Yorkshire manufacturing through productivity, innovation, and the adoption of technology. The Task Force say this work should include rollout of more business support programmes.

Mission 2: this is connected to the Mayor’s pledge to reduce carbon emissions and reach net-zero by 2038. The report recommends that manufacturers become more engaged with net-zero focused support programmes in the region.

Mission 3: this is an objective for the manufacturing sector in West Yorkshire to increase exports and attract increased inward investment. To support these aims an Export Support Scheme will be created to help small and medium sized manufacturers understand the export potential of their business. Increased promotion of West Yorkshire manufacturing is also planned via international events and trade missions.

Mission 4: the Task Force have set the objective for West Yorkshire’s manufacturing sector to double the number of people accessing manufacturing and engineering via apprenticeships, internships, and other technical qualification routes by 2028. Alongside this, there is an aim to make the workforce more diverse and capitalise on employment and skills support.

Each of these four missions is supported by a full series of detailed recommendations which can be seen in full on the Manufacturing Task Force page.

Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, said:

“West Yorkshire has long been a recognised throughout the world as a hub and centre of excellence for manufacturing. This report by the Manufacturing Task Force is a hugely significant steps forward which will help us build on this proud heritage.  

“It will also help us establish West Yorkshire as the best place to grow and set up a manufacturing business.

“It’s also vital that the sector attracts a diverse range of exceptionally talented young people by inspiring them to consider manufacturing as a career choice, offering the best training possible and doubling the number of apprenticeships starts by the end of the decade. 

“I look forward to working with the Task Force and the many amazing manufacturing businesses in our region to deliver these ambitions.”

Cllr Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council and Chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Business, Education, Investment and Skills Committee, said:

“I welcome the recommendations in this report, and I am pleased to see the faith shown in the manufacturing talent we have in West Yorkshire.

“The region has a strong tradition of engineering excellence. The four ambitious missions set out in the report give us the best opportunity to build on that tradition, creating a diverse and skilled workforce for the future and making West Yorkshire a world-beating but net zero economy!”

Task Force Chair Andrew Wright said:

“I am delighted that we can launch this report today. It is both an important and exciting document that captures our ambitions to make West Yorkshire Manufacturing sector truly world beating and truly reflective of the people and communities in our region.

“We have worked hard throughout the year to listen to voices from across the sector and incorporate the challenges and needs that we have heard about.

“We want to make the sector more innovative and attractive to diverse young talent; and cement our region’s reputation as world leader in this area.

“I too look forward to continuing working with the Task Force and all West Yorkshire manufacturers to realise these ambitions.”

The West Yorkshire Manufacturing Task Force was launched by Tracy Brabin, the Mayor of West Yorkshire, the Task Force Chair Andrew Wright, and other representatives of the Task Force including a group of apprentices who are working for various manufacturers in the region.