Organisers of the Leeds Manufacturing Festival, launched this month to showcase the 1,600 manufacturing businesses in the city as a positive career choice for young people, have announced the line-up of sponsors backing this year’s initiative.
Accountant RSM, Leeds City College and The Works Recruitment are all supporting the festival, which is designed to give young people the chance to find out more about the wide range of career options on offer in Leeds’ modern manufacturing sector.
Festival chair Tracey Dawson, who is also managing director at Daletech Electronics, said: “Our sponsors’ support is essential to enable us to reach out to thousands of students across the city and to make sure our programme of online events taking place between now and next summer has maximum impact.
“There will be mock interviews, careers panels and the chance for students to talk to manufacturing employers and young people already working in the industry about what it’s really like. There’s a real demand for new talent among Leeds’ many innovative manufacturers right now and with all kinds of apprenticeships and other opportunities on offer, manufacturing is definitely a really positive career option.”
Neil Sevitt, head of manufacturing for Yorkshire and the North East at RSM, said: “Skills are a long-standing challenge for the manufacturing sector and there will be a need for higher technical level qualifications and digital skills over the next 12 months as businesses invest in technology in order to quickly adapt to changes brought on by coronavirus.
“The Leeds Manufacturing Festival is so important to allow employers to demonstrate the wide range of opportunities in modern manufacturing and inspire young people to make it a career choice. Manufacturing will play a key role in the UK’s economic recovery and addressing the skills gap is vital to secure the long-term future of the sector.”
Mitch Scott, head of engineering and automotive technologies at Leeds City College, said: “We’ve seen a 25% increase in applications to our engineering courses this year; a reflection of the fact that manufacturing and engineering is a growing and dynamic sector. It’s essential that we work closely with employers to ensure that we are giving our students the most relevant knowledge and skills for today’s workplace and the festival is a brilliant format for showing young people just what the industry has to offer.”
Craig Burton, founder and managing director of The Works Recruitment, added: “We’ve been connecting people, talent and skills with manufacturers in the region for almost 30 years, and education, outreach and ambition have always been embedded in our core values.
“So working with and sponsoring LMF and young talent in the region is the right thing to do. We’re excited to work with tomorrow’s talent, and to ensure their decision to choose a career in manufacturing will deliver a solid and happy future.”
Now in its third year, the festival is organised by the Leeds Manufacturing Alliance and Leeds Chamber and supported by Leeds City Council, the Leeds City Region LEP and the Ahead Partnership.