21 March 2024

Employers and students come together for 'brilliant' and 'motivating' careers showcase

Always one of the Leeds Manufacturing Festival's stand-out events, this year’s manufacturing careers showcase at Leeds City College Printworks Campus, organised by Ahead Partnership, proved bigger and better than ever.

Taking place during National Careers Week, teams from 13 local firms, ranging from electronic engineers to medical devices manufacturers, spent the day meeting and talking to college and school students at the landmark event.

Employers engaged with more than 225 young people who had assembled to hear more about working in manufacturing and engineering and the wide range of roles and career opportunities available.

Students from as far afield as  Bradford’s BBG Academy, Rodillian Academy in Lofthouse and UTC Leeds, which are both part of the Rodillian Multi-Academy Trust; as well as Carr Manor Community School in Leeds and Leeds City College, all took part.

Businesses showcasing both their organisations and the manufacturing and engineering career options on offer included packaging manufacturer Greyhound Box, Arla Foods, Leeds Welding Company, Kirkstall Precision Engineering, which specialises in medical devices, and switchboard and electrical controls manufacturer Bensons Panels.

Schneider Electric and bed manufacturer Harrisons Spinks, with teams on hand to give young people the low down on entering the industry, alongside the Boot Repair Company, Medasil Surgical, advanced engineering firm LBBC Technologies and medical equipment maker Brandon Medical.

The careers showcase featured break-out sessions on how to write a stand-out CV, preparing for a successful job interview and advice on how to be ‘work-ready’, with careers panels aimed at both students and teaching staff.

Among the expert panellists giving first-hand advice to the young people and their teachers were Martins Golubevs, an engineering apprentice at Kirkstall Precision; Arla Foods talent acquisition partner Olivia Pine and retail and world foods expert Noor Ali; as well as Stephanie Plazzi from E3 Recruitment, a specialist in the manufacturing industry.

Faron Convey, project manager at event organiser Ahead Partnership, said: “The careers panel itself was a tremendous success. Seeing the incredibly knowledgeable panellists drawing on their years of experience and individual areas of expertise to advise young people there was really powerful.

“Comments from students such as, “motivating session”, “brilliant advisers”, “informative and engaging” cropped up again and again in feedback.

“One student told us they liked how “everybody answered all of our questions and gave us insight into the great job opportunities there are in manufacturing."

Ben Wilson, this year’s Manufacturing Festival chair and director of Leeds fibreglass moulding firm MPM, said: “The Manufacturing Careers Showcase is further proof of how fantastic it is to be involved with such passionate people and businesses.

“They don't just talk about a skills gap, they get out there and do something about it, promoting the many great opportunities out there for young engineers and people who want to build and make things.

“We might not  be able to change the world overnight, but we can keep chipping away and engaging with the engineers and manufacturers of the future to ensure is sector is sustainable and thrives.”


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