MORE than 1,000 schoolchildren from across the district are signed-up to take part in the first-ever Bradford Manufacturing Week.

The young people, aged between 14 and 18, will participate in workplace visits and placements.

Over 50 manufacturers have so far registered to be involved in the initiative, which runs from October 8 to 12.

But more companies are being urged to come forward.

Nick Garthwaite, who is behind the scheme, said it was a huge opportunity to showcase careers on offer in manufacturing.

“We have young people from more than 20 schools wanting to visit manufacturers across the Bradford district and in some cases full schools wish to be involved,” he added.

“This level of interest means only one thing – we need even more manufacturers to open their doors and we need to know what they can offer us, and fast!

“We recently held a day for teachers to take their advice on a toolkit we have created to help manufacturers navigate their way through the process of hosting pupils onsite and we have responded directly to requests for even more work experience opportunities to be created.

“When the schools return next month, we want the largest possible portfolio of manufacturer opportunities to present to them – whether it’s tours, talks or work placements and experiences.

“We need manufacturers to get in touch now and help us help them take advantage of this incredible appetite for manufacturing information and experiences.”

The new toolkit – which includes a guide to the week – has been written by school and career specialist Aspire-igen, with input from schools and Bradford Council’s education, employment and enterprise team.

It can be downloaded at

Mr Garthwaite, managing director of international chemicals and detergents manufacturer Christeyns and president of Bradford Chamber, said the manufacturing week hoped to boost apprenticeship numbers by creating more inspired and “work ready” applicants into the sector.

Aspire-igen is helping to deliver the venture, with support from businesses and sponsors including Barclays, Naylor Wintersgill, Mitton Group, Gordons LLP, the University of Bradford, Bradford Grammar School and Leeds Bradford Airport.

Among the schools taking part is Parkside, at Cullingworth.

Assistant headteacher Joanne Sykes has been supporting the planning of the venture.

She said: “We intend sending our 180 year-nine pupils on work experience days throughout the week.

“We expect that interest in manufacturing as a career will soar after the incredible insight created through Bradford Manufacturing Week.

“The week will help build sustainable relationships and open doors with businesses, which has historically been a challenge for us as a school.”

The deadline for manufacturers to register involvement is Friday, August 24.

Visit the website, e-mail or call 01274 206653 for more details.