More than 4,500 young people in the Bradford area were involved in manufacturing-related events during the third Bradford Manufacturing Weeks initiative last month.
Organisers and participants of Bradford Manufacturing Weeks 2020 are heralding the initiative which blended on-line events with a practical, in-school challenge, as a “huge success” as final figures show 4,551 young people from 31 secondary schools across the area, took part.
Students aged between 13 and 18 joined 32 on-line, live sessions and almost 400 took part in the new-for-2020 sani-station competition to create a fun, practical hygiene station for use in schools or colleges.
After 15 manufacturers including Ex-pressed Steel Panels, Solenis, Kemira Chemicals, Produmax and Thorite providing virtual tours, participated in Zoom “Meet the Manufacturer” sessions and their apprentices took part in live Q&A sessions to answer student questions, teachers were unanimous in praising the impact of the two weeks of events.
Led by West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, Bradford Manufacturing Weeks introduces students to a career in manufacturing through work placements, manufacturer tours, work experience and life skills events.
Delivered in partnership with Bradford-based school and career specialists Aspire-igen and with continued sponsorship and support from Barclays, E3 Recruitment, Naylor Wintersgill, Gordons LLP and Bradford Council, Bradford Manufacturing Weeks also aims to create more inspired, informed and ‘work ready’ applicants into the sector by giving pupils the chance to prepare for the workplace.
Nick Garthwaite, Bradford Manufacturing Weeks founder, West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce chair and managing director of Christeyns, a laundry detergent manufacturer, said: “Feedback from the schools has been absolutely superb with all involved wanting to take part again next year and many stating the experiences have literally changed the perspectives and opened the minds of their pupils, which is exactly what we set out to do."
In an evaluation report published last week, it was confirmed that of the schools which completed the Aspire-igen evaluation survey following the initiative, 100% said their students benefitted from taking part.