1000 work experience days created as students gain industry insight

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One thousand work experience days are to be created as part of a new initiative to educate young people about career opportunities in the manufacturing sector.

Business leaders behind Bradford Manufacturing Week are urging schools to play their part in highlighting career options in manufacturing alongside already popular areas such as teaching, tourism, professional services and higher education, with teachers identified as having a major responsibility in introducing a varied range of professions to students.

The first Bradford Manufacturing Week (8-12 October)aims to introduce young people and their educators, to manufacturers and boost apprenticeship numbers by creating more inspired, informed and ‘work ready’ applicants into the sector.

The event is being led by the West & North Yorkshire Chamber, which hopes other regions will follow suit with their own events.

The brainchild of Nick Garthwaite, MD of international chemicals and detergents manufacturer Christeyns, the week aims to engage with around 75 local schools, reach more than 20,000 teenage students and create 1,000 work experience days across the district.

The launch marks the start of six months of school and manufacturer engagement before the week of events, tours, work placements, company visits and seminars begin in October, with support from major manufacturers including BASF and backed with headline sponsorship from Barclays.

Joanne Sykes, assistant head teacher at Parkside School in Bradford, who has been supporting in the planning of the initiative, said: “Bradford Manufacturing Week will help build sustainable relationships and open doors with businesses which has historically been a challenge for us as a school. Events like this are also invaluable in educating parents and teachers who are so influential in choosing options and careers.”

She added: “We are hoping to send our 180 year nine pupils on work experience days throughout the week and expect that interest in manufacturing as a career will soar after the incredible insight created through Bradford Manufacturing Week and we are looking forward to this becoming an annual highlight of the academic calendar.”

With manufacturing achieving £364.7 billion in product sales in 2016, which is around 23% of the UK’s GDP, it is a major sector of British industry employing 7.4 million people. Around 15% of Bradford’s output comes from manufacturing accounting for £1.5 billion of the GVA.

Nick Garthwaite, who is also president of Bradford Chamber, believes the initiative, alongside the Chamber’s October Leeds Manufacturing Festival, will highlight the many opportunities for young people. Hesaid: “The Chamber is leading this initiative because we want young people to see for themselves the exciting and progressive career opportunities this industry presents. From automation and robotics to research and development of new technologies, manufacturing is an incredibly fast-moving and dynamic place to work.”

Bradford is an economy built on manufacturing with 1,200 businesses employing 23,000 people– the fourth highest of any city district in the UK.

Nick added: “Despite Bradford being the youngest city in the UK with a growing population of school leavers, our apprenticeships are low. From August 2016 to January 2018 just 1,510 were undertaken across the manufacturing and engineering sector in Bradford[4]and there are just 80 manufacturing apprenticeships we know of that are currently being officially advertised.”

Bradford Manufacturing Week is being delivered with Bradford-based school and career specialists Aspire-igen alongside a steering group including Bradford Grammar School, Bradford Economic Partnership, plus local businesses and event sponsors.

For more information about sponsorship or getting involved, visit the Bradford Manufacturing Week website www.bradfordmanufacturingweek.co.uk or email bmw@wnychamber.co.uk or call 01274 206653. For regular updates and news follow @Bradfordmfg on Twitter.

Creative Teaching & Learning
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