YOUNG people across the district are being given an insight into potential careers within manufacturing.

The second annual Bradford Manufacturing Week, which begins next week, is offering youngsters a behind-the-scenes look at what the industry can serve-up.

Last year’s initiative saw 3,000 ‘experiences’ offered to pupils aged 16-plus.

This year, the scheme ­– which was launched by Bradford Chamber of Commerce and is co-ordinated by career specialist Aspire-igen – is delivering over 4,000 experiences.

The programme is endorsed by Bradford Council, Bradford Economic Partnership and Bradford University.

And key sponsors and supporters include Barclays, accountants Naylor Wintersgill, law firm Gordons, building services specialists Mitton, professional training and development company Dale Carnegie, E3 Recruitment and Leeds Bradford Airport.

More businesses are always being sought to get involved in the not-for-profit venture, which unites manufacturers, schools, young people and parents through tours, work experience placements, seminars and learning events at companies district-wide.

The inaugural event spawned a number of success stories.

Skipton-based Guyson International Ltd – a leading blast, ultrasonic and spray washing equipment manufacturer – hosted students from South Craven School at Cross Hills, Keighley College and Skipton Girls’ High.

Managing director Mark Viner said the firm was so impressed by the students, that it offered two apprenticeships.

Kyle Elliott, 18, from Eastburn, secured a mechanical design engineer apprenticeship through Guyson after a representative of the firm visited the school.

Kyle is carrying the baton from his grandfathers, who both worked in engineering.

“It has opened my eyes to so many different areas of engineering,” he said.

“I have now secured a job for the next four years and beyond.

“Without Bradford Manufacturing Week I wouldn’t be where I am or have a clear understanding of where I want to be in the future.”

Ben Bott, 16, visited aerospace component manufacturer Produmax and secured a three-year mechanical engineering apprenticeship in August.

He spent two weeks at the company before embarking on an 18-week course at Keighley College, which will allow him to put his knowledge into practice within the workforce.

Ben said working alongside staff on the shop floor during his placement was “an honour”.

Now he’s serving alongside them as a fellow worker.

“On the first day I looked at my lanyard and it said employee – it was a brilliant feeling,” he said.

“I love being hands-on. That’s one of the reasons I aspired to go for an apprenticeship. It also allows me to be flexible.”

Ben said he was hugely grateful to Bradford Chamber of Commerce and the manufacturing week.

“It’s the best thing that has ever happened to me,” he added.

“This apprenticeship is my future.

“It’s a brilliant company and I would like to stay long-term.”

Mandy Ridyard, financial director at Produmax, said: “For me it’s being able to show people in school that there are other options, apart from the ones that tend to jump to the top of their parents’ or schoolteachers’ lists.

“I want the students to see manufacturing and engineering for themselves, that is why we supported Bradford Manufacturing Week last year and are doing so again this year.

“It’s about re-setting the profile of manufacturing, so people realise what modern manufacturing is about and what a rewarding career it is.”

Keighley-based GESIPA, a specialist fastening system manufacturer, also took part last year and is involved again.

Nishta Watkiss, the company’s marketing executive, said the firm was conscious of bridging the skills gap and giving young people a chance to gain experience.

Last year, students from the science department at South Craven School and from Parkside School, Cullingworth, gained an insight into GESIPA’s operations through factory tours and team-building exercises. Parents are invited in too, to raise awareness of roles on offer.

“It is the responsibility of any business to make sure children have the right experience in terms of the business world,” said Nishta.

“You can teach them as much as you want, but in the real world they need to know what goes on there. The benefit goes both ways – students get to know what goes on in business and what subjects they need and businesses like ours want to attract a younger workforce.”

Manufacturing Week founder Nick Garthwaite said businesses were “putting their heart and soul” into the event.

For more details about the event, visit, call 01274 206660 or e-mail