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“Fantastic turnout” praised at first Bradford Manufacturing Week information event

The first information event for Bradford Manufacturing Week took place at Bradford Industrial Museum this week and advised local manufacturers on how to get involved with the initiative and connect with schools across the district.

Held on Wednesday 16 May and led by Bradford Chamber president Nick Garthwaite who is heading up Bradford Manufacturing Week, attendees heard from career specialists Aspire-igen which is creating manufacturer partnerships with schools, Bradford Grammar School student Nia Naru who spoke about ‘what good work experience looks like’ and business sponsors Barclays who praised the initiative’s commitment to creating ‘job ready’ young people through placements, partnerships and good communication.

A Bradford Manufacturing Week Toolkit was unveiled to support manufacturers in delivering good quality work placements, work experience, tours and visits while Bradford Council representatives talked through the support that will be offered to manufacturers in ensuring health and safety standards and processes are met.

Nick Garthwaite, who is managing director of international chemical and detergent manufacturer Christeyns, said the turnout was ‘fantastic’ with schools and manufacturers signing up to the Week, which runs from October 8-12, as a result.

He said: “This event was about giving more detail around the logistics of Bradford Manufacturing Week and the support that is on offer to schools and manufacturers to ensure everyone involved gets the most out of the initiative. From work experience and placement guidance to talking through the support available in having young people on site, Bradford Manufacturing Week’s partners are here to make the process as easy as possible.”

He added: “We were delighted to hear directly from Nia at Bradford Grammar School about how experience with manufacturers has inspired her career goals and from Aspire-igen about the links that are already being made with local schools. The 25,000 manufacturing employees in Bradford are a key economic driver in this district and we are incredibly focussed on increasing these numbers through fantastic partnerships and experiences with school pupils.”

Bradford Manufacturing Week aims to create 1,000 work experience days for the district’s teenagers, engaging with around 20,000 pupils across 75 schools. Wednesday’s information event showcased the district’s manufacturing present and future with the help of modern day artefacts including an electro-hydraulic actuator, developed by Silsden manufacturer Advanced Actuators to help in the processing and movement of water in countries including Dubai, Qatar and Iraq.

Advanced Actuators managing director Chris Woodhead said: “Bradford Manufacturing Week is a great chance for us to shout about the technology and advancements we are making in creating solutions to global issues such as those needed in the water industry. Our product development and distribution is world leading and it was fantastic to hear how West and North Yorkshire Chamber, alongside its partners, will be helping more manufacturers like us, get young people through their doors to inspire, motivate and encourage consideration of a manufacturing career.”

Providing insight into what great work experience looks like, Bradford Grammar School student, Nia Naru (17) explained that hands-on experience and seeing how products are made have inspired her to pursue a manufacturing career.

She added: “It’s great that Bradford Manufacturing Week is helping to widen the network of companies that offer work experience as its hugely beneficial to our future. My placement helped influence my university and future career choice.”