A month-long festival being held in Leeds to celebrate its manufacturing sector kicks off this week.
Some of the city’s top manufacturers are backing the Leeds Manufacturing Festival which it is hoped will show off the very best of the industry.
Among those backing the event are Brandon Medical, Daletech, Hopkins Catering, MPM and Sound Leisure as they seek to showcase the role manufacturing plays in the local economy, raise awareness of the wide range of manufacturing companies in Leeds and help manufacturers attract the next generation of young people into the industry.
The festival is organised by Leeds Manufacturing Alliance and will provide a series of events opening the doors of many of these companies to young people and local communities.
Victoria Hopkins from Hopkins Catering in Pudsey, who is one of the key people behind the initiative, said: “Leeds Manufacturing Festival will allow anyone interested in manufacturing to see for themselves what it is like day to day working in the sector and find out more about the exciting career opportunities that exist in manufacturing in Leeds with businesses of all sizes taking part.
“We have a really diverse skill set in Leeds and there is such a vibrancy in the sector with many hidden treasures that we aren’t shouting about loudly enough.
“We have some amazing businesses doing really exciting things with a range of roles from design and marketing to finance and HR to production and operating machinery.
“Manufacturing can be anything you want it to be and there are huge opportunities for people right here and now.”
Mike Rimmer, operations director at Morley-based Brandon Medical, an award-winning medical technology company, said: “I am really proud that we are taking part in the Festival as this industry needs young people to pick up the next state of the art developments in manufacturing techniques.
“We’re all set to open our doors to schools and young people in a bid to get the message out there that manufacturing has changed. It is a very clean, tidy, tech driven industry and we are crying out for young people to come and start their careers with us.
“I started out my working life as an apprentice and really understand the value that such an opportunity brings. People can try out working in all areas of the business from manufacturing to finance and get a great grounding to help them progress their careers.
“Leeds is home to the biggest manufacturing centre outside of London and Birmingham and it is a fabulous place to get a job in the industry.”
A spokesperson said “The Leeds Manufacturing Alliance hopes more manufacturers in Leeds will get involved in the festival and are urging more to come forward and help inspire our next generation.
“It is also hoped that the Leeds Manufacturing Festival will become an annual event which will help towards fundamentally changing perceptions about the sector.”
A series of events are being held around the city over the course of the next few weeks. Crawshaw Academy will hold a Young Persons’ Fair on Friday October 5 while the EEF will host a large scale event on apprenticeships on Monday October 8 at the Leeds University Training College.
To find out more about the Leeds Manufacturing Festival or to sign up and get involved visit leedsmanufacturingfestival.co.uk.