Bradford Manufacturing Weeks 2021 deploys apprentice task force to help inspire pupils
Bradford’s apprentices are coming out in force to encourage more of the district’s school children to consider a career in manufacturing.
A task force of current apprentices from Bradford manufacturers including Christeyns UK, Produmax, Solenis and Carnaud Metalbox will be taking part in a series of events as part of October’s Bradford Manufacturing Weeks 2021 and from September, a calendar of local apprenticeship opportunities will be available – alongside current apprentice information films – on the Bradford Manufacturing Weeks website.
It’s the fourth year that E3 Recruitment (E3R) has sponsored the Bradford Manufacturing Weeks, which is led by West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce with other sponsors including Barclays, Naylor Wintersgill, LCF Law and Bradford Council.
Bradford Manufacturing Weeks has created more than 12,000 manufacturing experiences for the district’s 14-18 year-old students since its launch in 2018 and following the success of 2020’s virtual initiative which attracted 4,551 young people to online careers events and video tours of local manufacturing operations. This year’s event, running from 4 – 15 October, is expected to combine online and in-person experiences.
Suzanne Watson, President of Bradford Chamber of Commerce, said: “With 37 schools already signed up for Bradford Manufacturing Weeks 2021 and manufacturers taking advantage of our virtual event options, it’s clear that our fortnight of events has become an important part of the year for many schools.
“Bradford’s strong manufacturing sector has a responsibility to encourage school pupils to find out more about the opportunities for fulfilling careers on their doorstep and our programme of events this year – many led by current apprentices – is designed to do just that.”
“Last year’s online events were hugely popular with schools because they were so accessible, so manufacturers can be reassured that whatever restrictions we’re working with, their virtual or in-person contributions are immensely valuable to pupils.”
Involvement with Bradford Manufacturing Weeks was life-changing for apprentice mechanical engineer Ben Bott (17) who was one of the first pupils to take part in the inaugural 2018 Bradford Manufacturing Weeks, joining his peers for a tour of Baildon-based specialist aerospace manufacturers, Produmax.
Today, Ben has completed his second year as an engineering apprentice with Produmax and has joined the 2021 Bradford Manufacturing Weeks apprentice task force. Named Outstanding Apprentice of the Year in the Keighley Training Consortium’s annual Milner Awards, Ben has pledged to continue supporting the next generation of manufacturers and engineers.
He said: “I didn’t understand apprenticeships when I was at school and that’s why Bradford Manufacturing Weeks is crucial to raising awareness of local career opportunities. If I hadn’t taken that first tour around Produmax, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Bradford Manufacturing Weeks kickstarted my career, the rest is up to me and the opportunities are endless.”
Bradford Manufacturing Weeks is delivered in partnership with Bradford-based school and career specialists The Opportunity Centre (formerly Aspire igen), and for 2021 includes a competition to create an innovative solution for waste recycling in schools. With a £500 cash prize to the winning team, the competition will involve pupils across different subjects from art and design to technology and science.
Additional activities during the fortnight include virtual tours of local manufacturing facilities, “Meet the Manufacturer”, Manufacturers Live and Apprentices Live Q&A sessions, a police and fire and rescue service-led Driver Awareness Event at Valley Parade and Barclays Life Skills sessions covering CV writing and interview guidance.
Andrew Joseph, E3R Director commented: “We are delighted to be a sponsor of Bradford Manufacturing Weeks for the fourth year running, as the initiative takes on a new exciting approach by creating a new apprentice task force to try and engage young people further. Last year’s online format proved to be successful with over 4,500 young people accessing online careers events and video tours, so this year the events will be both online and person experiences, with E3R hosting both the Apprentices Live and Manufactures Live Q&A panels again.
“This innovative and adaptable approach which has young people at its core is why we support this initiative, with engagement numbers increasing year on year. Being a manufacturing and engineering recruitment specialist, we know how important it is to ensure there is a pipeline of young people entering the industry and filling futures roles.”
Bradford Manufacturing Weeks runs from 4 -15 October. For more details of how your school or your manufacturing business can get involved, please contact Laura Dooher at the Opportunity Centre on Laura.firstname.lastname@example.org or see the website www.bradfordmanufacturingweek.co.uk.