AN initiative to get more young people from across the district involved in manufacturing will aim to reach 20,000 teenagers.

Details of Bradford Manufacturing Week have been unveiled.

The intention is to introduce the district's manufacturers to young people and boost 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.

It is planned that 75 schools and more than 20,000 14-to-18-year-olds will get involved in the week, from October 8 to 12.

And the hope is that over 1,000 work experience days can be created throughout the district.

The venture is the brainchild of Nick Garthwaite, president of Bradford Chamber and managing director of international chemicals and detergents manufacturer Christeyns.

Other manufacturers involved include BASF, Keighley Laboratories and Thorite, and Barclays will 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.

Mr Garthwaite believes the 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 and 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.”

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