More than 45 people gathered in Shipley for a tour of the multimillion pound manufacturing facility of CarnaudMetalBox Engineering to kickstart Bradford Manufacturing Week 2018.
Guests of the canmaking machinery manufacturer included eight students from two schools – Bradford’s Forsters Academy and South Craven School, alongside MPs Judith Cummins, John Grogan and Chairman of Bradford Economic Partnership Dave Baldwin.
Bradford Manufacturing Week led by West & North Yorkshire Chamber is introducing the district’s manufacturers to young people to help boost apprenticeship numbers by creating more inspired, informed and ‘work ready’ applicants into the sector.
The brainchild of Nick Garthwaite, president of Bradford Chamber and MD of international chemicals and detergents manufacturer Christeyns, and facilitated by Bradford-based school and career specialists Aspire-igen, the week has already ‘matched’ over 50% of Bradford’s secondary schools with more than 40 local manufacturers to create 3,000 manufacturing experiences for 14-18 year old students.
Addressing attendees, Dave Baldwin said that Bradford Manufacturing Week has an opportunity to advance the growing economy. He said: “We have the job opportunities, we now need the emerging skillset to be attuned to it. Bradford Manufacturing Week is about working as a collective and getting things done. Through this initiative, everyone is moving in the same direction – education, youth, employers and the public sector – and we really can make a difference.”
The launch event included a demonstration of the canmaking technology and a tour of the 11,000 sq metre Shipley-based factory which showcases the company’s precision engineering facility that provides employment for around 450 locally-based staff.
Mitchell Hardaker, a year 12 student from South Craven School, said he had been inspired by the event. “I came along to understand more about what apprenticeships are available and what a manufacturing environment looks like – it’s been really interesting, especially seeing one of the company’s apprentices who has done so well.”
Manufacturers which have signed up to Bradford Manufacturing Week include BASF, Airedale Chemical, Whitakers Chocolate, TF Automation, Mansfield Pollard, GESIPA, Thorite, Morrisons, CarnaudMetalBox Engineering and Gordon Rhodes. Schools include Queensbury Academy, South Craven College, Bradford Grammar School, Dixons Allerton, One in A Million and Buttershaw Business and Enterprise College.
Andrew Truelove, General Manager at CarnaudMetalBox, said: “Finding young people with the right interest and the right skills can be difficult and as 95% of everything we manufacture goes to every corner of the planet, it’s that next generation of employee and the pipeline for our workforce that will ultimately drive the success of this business.”
He added: “Bradford Manufacturing Week has already helped to put our business on the local employment map and we’re now receiving calls and emails from schools across the district who are interested in bringing their students in to find out more about our business and the diversity of manufacturing. This is exactly what’s needed to help future proof all of our businesses – interest and interaction with local school pupils.”
Alongside the school and manufacturer visits, additional events in the Bradford Manufacturing Week calendar include Bradford Manufacturing LIVE on 11th October at Bradford College where local students will question a panel of manufacturing representatives including Keighley Laboratories, EPTA George Barker, Christeyns and Seabrook Crisps; a series of Barclays life skills programmes including building confidence, workplace behaviour and interview skills – delivered in schools – and a funding and support event for manufacturers on 16th October at Keighley College.
Bradford Manufacturing Week is being sponsored by Barclays, Gordons LLP, Naylor Wintersgill, Mitton Mechanical, the University of Bradford and Leeds Bradford Airport and supported by Welcome to Yorkshire, Bradford Council and Bradford Grammar School.