Manufacturers from across Leeds were represented in force at the Leeds Apprenticeship Recruitment Fair this week. The sell-out event attracted over 6,000 young people and their parents, providing a great platform to showcase the city’s manufacturing sector and the career opportunities it offers.
Engineering firms LBBC Technologies and Kirkstall Precision Engineering, textile firm A Hainsworth and packaging company Greyhound Box joined the Leeds Manufacturing Festival exhibition stand along with MPM Ltd, Daletech Electronics, Sound Leisure and Leeds Welding Company.
Iqbal Bahia, managing director of Kirkstall Precision Engineering, said: “This was a first time for the team at the apprenticeship fair and it was fantastic. The interaction with potential candidates and, in some cases their parents, as well as Leeds City College and the UTC Leeds was great. The interest shown in engineering was very encouraging and we’ve had an excellent response since with lots of CVs and letters already received.”
The event, which returned to the First Direct Arena in Leeds for the first time since before the pandemic, is the biggest event of its kind in the North of England and is part of National Apprenticeship Week. It takes place at a time when thousands of young people thinking hard about their options and what comes next after school or college.
Amanda McLaren, managing director of AW Hainsworth said: “Apprenticeships and growing the next generation of talent is fundamental to our HR strategy and the long-term sustainability of our business. So, attending the recruitment fair was invaluable, not only in meeting a wide range of talented and very capable young people, but also engaging with schools and training providers in the area. It was an excellent event and well worth the investment of our time.”
Matt Booth, business sector manager at E3 Recruitment, which is a sponsor of this year’s Leeds Manufacturing Festival, added: “It was great to support the event, which was well attended by thousands of young people, ranging from high school age to school leavers and young adults. It was a good atmosphere and there was a genuine interest in the type of opportunities available in manufacturing and the benefits of apprenticeships.”
Andy Quayle, general manager of LBBC Beechood, said he had been overwhelmed by the success of the event and by the number of students attending: “It was great to see just how many parents had taken the time to accompany youngsters to offer their support and discover for themselves the huge range of opportunities available in the Leeds area.
“There is clearly a huge amount of talent out there, which is testimony to the great work of our local schools and colleges. One memorable student from UTC, was very keen to show an example of the work he’d produced on a CNC machine, which is exactly the sort of enthusiasm and passion employers are looking for. As a result of the fair, we’re extremely confident of finding the right student to fill our apprenticeship vacancy.”