This year's Bradford Manufacturing Weeks a 'huge success'

This year's Bradford Manufacturing Weeks a 'huge success'

MORE than 4,500 young people in the Bradford area were involved in events during the district’s third Bradford Manufacturing Weeks initiative last month.

Organisers and participants of Bradford Manufacturing Weeks 2020 hav heralded the initiative, which blended online events with a practical, in-school challenge, as a “huge success” as final figures show 4,551 young people from 31 secondary schools across the district, took part.

Students aged between 13 and 18 joined 32 online, live sessions and almost 400 took part in the new-for-2020 sani-station competition to create a fun and practical hygiene station for use in schools or colleges, which was won by Oastlers School.

Manufacturers including Ex-pressed Steel Panels, Solenis, Kemira Chemicals, Produmax and Thorite provided virtual tours, participated in Zoom ‘Meet the Manufacturer’ sessions and provided apprentices for live Q&A sessions to answer student questions.

Led by West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, Bradford Manufacturing Weeks introduces students to a career in manufacturing through work placements, manufacturer tours, work experience and life skills events.

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.

An evaluation survey found 100 per cent of schools which took part said their students benefitted.

Nick Garthwaite, Bradford Manufacturing Weeks founder, West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce chair and managing director of Christeyns laundry detergent manufacturer, said this year’s event was a resounding success.

“Feedback from the schools has been absolutely superb with all involved wanting to take part again next year and many stating the experiences have literally changed the perspectives and opened the minds of their pupils, which is exactly what we set out to do,” he said.

Lee Collinson, Managing Director and Head of Barclays Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics sector, added: “The initiative is all about working with manufacturers to inspire, inform and engage with pupils to help them become career ready and informed and we are delighted that based on teacher feedback, that’s exactly what 2020 has done.”