A NEW initiative to get more young people from Bradford involved in manufacturing will aim to reach 20,000 teenagers and boost the district’s low apprenticeship rates.

Details of Bradford Manufacturing Week were revealed yesterday, with the aim of introducing Bradford’s manufacturers to young people and boosting apprenticeship numbers by creating more ‘work ready’ applicants.

The scheme is being led by the West and North Yorkshire Chamber and backed by the newly-formed Bradford Economic Partnership.

The plans are for 75 local schools and more than 20,000 14 to 18-year-olds to get involved in the week, from October 8 to 12. It is hoped that over 1,000 work experience days can be created throughout the district.

The week is the brainchild of Nick Garthwaite, president of Bradford Chamber and MD of international chemicals and detergents manufacturer Christeyns. Other manufacturers involved include BASF, Keighley Laboratories and Thorite, and Barclays will also provide sponsorship.

The launch marks the start of six months of school and manufacturer engagement before the week of events, tours, work placements, company visits and seminars begins in October.


Mr Garthwaite believes the Bradford initiative, alongside the October Leeds Manufacturing Festival, will inspire other cities across the UK to host their own manufacturing weeks.

He said: “Despite Bradford being the youngest city in the UK with a growing population of school leavers, our apprenticeships are low.

“From August 2016 to January 2018 just 1,510 were undertaken across the manufacturing and engineering sector in Bradford and there are just 80 manufacturing apprenticeships we know of that are currently being officially advertised.

“We want to encourage manufacturers to consider apprenticeships to future-proof their workforce and for young people to consider apprenticeships as an alternative route to a skilled and rewarding career.

“To make Bradford Manufacturing Week a success we need all manufacturers to open their doors and help us inspire and excite young people by showcasing their products, innovation, technology and to demonstrate just how much they contribute to the local and national economy. This is a celebration of our district’s manufacturing might and we should be shouting from the rooftops about Bradford’s magnificent manufacturing heritage and advancements into the future.”

For more information about sponsorship or getting involved, visit bradfordmanufacturingweek.co.uk or email bmw@wnychamber.co.uk