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Great Britain

Bradford Manufacturing Week organisers 'blown away' by success of inaugural event

BRADFORD Manufacturing Week has been hailed a success by organisers, who have promised the initiative will return next year.

Students from across the district have delved ‘behind the scenes’ at respected firms as part of the inaugural event.

The West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce created the week-long event, which is also supported by Barclays and the Bradford Economic Partnership.

Students from more than half of the district’s schools were due to be involved, taking part in more than 3,000 work experiences at 40 manufacturing businesses.

Nick Garthwaite, president of Bradford Chamber and managing director at chemicals manufacturer Christeyns, came up with the idea for the week.

The past six months has seen the Chamber engage with schools and manufacturers to make the week happen and create meaningful experiences for the students involved.

Prime Minister Theresa May even threw her weight behind the initiative, describing it as a “great opportunity” to showcase future job prospects and careers for young people in the area.

And Bradford South MP Judith Cummins praised the week, and those involved, in Parliament. 

Mr Garthwaite said the week had gone fantastically well, with positive feedback from school teachers about what the week had meant for their students.

He added that he was "blown away" by the success of the initiative and said: "We must continue it for 2019 and indeed beyond." Christeyns, based on Rutland Street, off Wakefield Road, opened its doors as part of the week.

A group of 30 14 to 17 year olds have experienced different parts of the business from product development and marketing to quality control and production planning. The firm also offered a series of factory tours for schools and students.

Asfa Mirza, a teacher at Bradford Girls Grammar School, which visited air management company Mansfield Pollard, said: “Seeing the inside of a manufacturing operation like Mansfield Pollard really helps the students to understand the many opportunities there are for everything from sales and marketing to product design and build. We’ve had an incredible insight through an interactive and informative presentation and a factory tour - it’s been immensely valuable.”

Cross Hills-based Airedale Chemical also gave students the opportunity to tour the site and technical laboratory, plus a chance to meet teams in the marketing, accounts, transport and health and safety departments.

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