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Rising stars of Leeds’ manufacturing and engineering industries to e celebrated in new awards

L-r: Kofi Taylor and Joe Dawson, apprentices at Saftronics in Leeds

Organisers of this year’s Leeds Manufacturing Festival are calling for the city’s manufacturing and engineering employers to nominate outstanding young people from within their own workforces for a new awards initiative that aims to identify and celebrate the industry’s next generation of rising stars and business leaders.

The Next Gen Awards have been launched to highlight the successes and achievements of young people already working in manufacturing and engineering, as well as promoting the diverse range of career opportunities that are available in a sector keen to attract young people with the right skills.

Tracey Dawson, managing director of Leeds-based Daletech Electronics and chair of this year’s festival said: “Success deserves to be recognised and rewarded, and the Next Gen Awards will be important in identifying young people who are real rising stars in their own organisations.

“They might be an apprentice who’s excelled in their role and made a big impact in the workplace, or an outstanding young employee who is making their way up in an organisation to a senior or leadership role.”


She added: “It’s all about spotting and celebrating potential and achievement. As the wide range of career options within manufacturing inspire increasing numbers of young people to apply for apprenticeships and other roles, it’s really important to show that we appreciate them, as well as demonstrating the excellent career prospects that are out there. In this industry there really are no limits on how far you can go, whether you start as an apprentice or a trainee.”

“As manufacturers, we face major challenges in recruitment and developing the skills needed to secure the future of our sector. So it’s vital that we attract young people into the industry and what better way to do that than by highlighting the successes and achievements of our own employees, and the opportunities that careers in manufacturing offer.”

Organisers are urging manufacturing employers to nominate outstanding young employees for three award categories:

  • Manufacturing Leader, for a young employee who is making a difference as a team leader or manager;
  • Rising Star, for a young person who has made an outstanding contribution to their business;
  • and Apprentice of the Year.

Entry forms and further details of how to make nominations for the Next Gen Awards can be found on the Leeds Manufacturing Festival website and entries must be received by 21 March. An awards ceremony will take place at the end of March, hosted by Leeds jukebox manufacturer Sound Leisure.

The Leeds Manufacturing Festival is supported by sponsors Leeds City College, specialist recruiter for the manufacturing and engineering sectors E3 Recruitment and accountancy firm Saffery Champness. It is organised by the Leeds Manufacturing Alliance and supported by Leeds City Council, Leeds City Region LEP, Leeds Chamber and the Ahead Partnership.

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