Leeds Agfa Graphics mechanic Alice Graham, who began her career as an engineering apprentice with the high-tech printing products manufacturer.
Starting with the Skills Yorkshire exhibition at Elland Road, which will be attended by thousands of young people, festival organisers aim to promote the wide range of manufacturing firms in Leeds and what they do as a way of attracting the next generation into industry.
Taking place on Wednesday & Thursday 2-3/10/19, the free-to-attend exhibition brings young people from across the region face-to-face with employers, training providers, colleges and universities, offering a combination of activities, live demonstrations and advice.
Members of the Leeds Manufacturing Alliance, which represents employers from across the city, will talk to school and college students about working in modern manufacturing companies and the rewarding careers on offer. They will be sharing a stand with Bradford Manufacturing Weeks.
Alliance members will be live online later that same week on Friday 4 October at 8.30am, answering questions from school students in a live podcast broadcast from UTC Leeds, the university technical college based in Hunslet which focuses on preparing young people for careers in engineering and manufacturing.
Hosted by Craig Burton MD of The Works recruitment, with a panel of local manufacturing business leaders and young people just starting their careers in manufacturing, the event will provide an insight into careers and opportunities that working in manufacturing offers.
Leeds Manufacturing Festival comes to a climax on Tuesday 22 October when the city’s manufacturers will be showcased at a day-long exhibition for schools (12 noon – 3pm) and members of the public (4pm – 7pm), at Leeds Civic Hall.
Schools and members of the public will be able to meet and talk to manufacturers face-to-face. They will also have the chance to hear from people working in manufacturing companies about the wide range of skills and the variety of experience their jobs involve.
Graham Cooper, director at Agfa Graphics in Leeds and a festival organiser, said: “There’s a misconception among young people, which I think comes from their parents and to some extent their teachers, that manufacturing is no longer a viable career option. But, in fact, it’s thriving and nowhere more so than here in Leeds.
“Following the success of last year’s festival, we wanted to make this year’s Leeds Manufacturing Festival even bigger and better. As well as these showpiece events, there’s a full programme of school visits, talks and factory tours taking place in the build up to and beyond October.
“The Leeds Manufacturing Festival is all about opening up manufacturing workplaces to young people and highlighting the exciting careers and job opportunities that are available right here in Leeds, covering a huge variety of different roles.”