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Produmax, along with manufacturers of products from textiles and laundry detergents to automotive components and process chemicals signed up to provide career insight, advice and guidance to pupils from more than 35 schools across Bradford district.

Led by West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and with primary sponsorship from Barclays, Bradford Manufacturing Weeks introduces students to a career in manufacturing through onsite and in-person employment experiences.

Due to Covid-19 the two-week initiative from 5 – 16 October went ahead entirely online with more than 40 manufacturer events spread across 10 days.  The timetable included factory tours alongside the panel Q&A “Manufacturers Live” on Thursday 8 October and Apprentices Live on Tuesday 13 October.

Apprentices Ben Bott, Max Weatherhead and Suraj Mistry delivered their Produmax factory tour to over two thousand virtual students and answered questions live.

Nick Garthwaite, founder of the initiative, chairman of West and North Yorkshire Chamber of commerce and managing director of laundry detergent manufacturer Christeyns, said he is uplifted and “incredibly proud” of the way the sector has “stepped up” during the crisis.

“We all know our district’s young people have missed out on so much already this year and as an industry, a business community and a sector, we have absolutely stepped up to make sure we still deliver a careers experience that will make a difference to the lives of local youngsters – Bradford’s next generation of employees and employers.”

Delivered in partnership with Bradford-based school and career specialists Aspire-igen and  with continued sponsorship and support from Barclays, E3 Recruitment, Naylor Wintersgill, Gordons LLP and Bradford Council, Bradford Manufacturing Weeks also aims to create more inspired, informed and ‘work ready’ applicants into the sector by giving pupils the chance to prepare for the workplace. Events such as Barclays Life Skills sessions will include advice on preparing for work in a virtual jobs market.

Nick Garthwaite added: “Now, more than ever, our district’s young people need all the support we can give them in terms of understanding the opportunities for employment right here on their doorstep as well as our help in getting them emotionally and practically ready for work. In partnership with our manufacturers, our sponsors and partners, we’re looking forward to delivering fantastic, accessible, engaging and informative events that every local secondary school can get involved in.”