QUEUES formed early at the First Direct Arena this week as over 8,000 school and college students, many accompanied by parents and families, turned out for the 2023 Leeds Apprenticeship Recruitment Fair. They were there to find out more about apprenticeship vacancies and career opportunities being offered by employers in the city.
The event is the biggest of its kind in the North of England and certainly lived up to its reputation. Over a hundred employers exhibited at the fair, organised by Leeds City Council, and there was strong representation from the city's manufacturing and engineering sector.
Employers MPM, AW Hainsworth, Kirkstall Precision Engineering. Greyhound Box, Sound Leisure, LBBC, OPM Labels & Packaging, E3 Recruitment and Bensons Control Panels joined the Leeds Manufacturing Festival exhibition stand, while Brandon Medical, Leeds Welding Company, Pland Stainless, Sulzer and Depuy Synthes also exhibited at the recruitment fair.
Specialist printing firm OPM Labels and Packaging exhibited with the Leeds Manufacturing Festival for the first time this year. They have already organised two work experience placements following on from the event and will be organising an open day at their Leeds factory for everyone their team spoke to on the day.
Joint managing director Susan Ellison said: "“What a wonderful day and well done on a great event. It has given us lots of food for thought.
"The news spreads a lot of gloom and doom about young people and their aspirations but the young people of Leeds stood out and shone on Monday. It really lifted our team. Manufacturing offers so many future possibilities for everyone who attended.”
Attention now turns to the official launch event for this year’s Leeds Manufacturing Festival, taking place at Leeds City College Printworks Campus on Wednesday 22/2/23. Keynote speakers include Tracey Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, and Stephen Phipson, chief executive of manufacturing employers’ organisation.
The launch will see a full programme of events unveiled, running through to the beginning July, designed to promote careers in manufacturing and forge stronger relationships between employers, schools, colleges and training providers in Leeds.