AN annual initiative which showcases manufacturing careers to young people across the district is returning this autumn.

Bradford Manufacturing Weeks will run from Monday, October 9, until Friday, October 20.

Nearly 2,000 students aged between 14 and 18 took part in last year's event, the fifth to be held.

The venture involved pupils from 40 schools, and more than 30 employers There were site tours, work placements, workshops and demonstrations.

Amongst participating companies were Keighley-based Gesipa, Ex-Pressed Steel Panels of Cowling and Keighley Laboratories.

A report published late last year spotlighted the success of Bradford Manufacturing Weeks, which is organised by West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.

The document – compiled by career specialist The Opportunity Centre – said that during the 2022 fortnight-long scheme, 965 students attended in-school talks, 332 took part in panel events and 305 participated in a UN sustainability competition. The project included activities for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.

All Keighley-district secondary schools were involved, plus Keighley College.

The scheme has also featured Women in Manufacturing question-and-answer events, and virtual and in-person 'meet the manufacturer' and 'meet the apprentice' panels.

Plus there was a Dragons' Den-style competition – Tech for Good – open to students in Years 7-9, 10-13 and SEND categories.

A 'webinar' takes place tomorrow (Aug 30) to help launch this year's venture.

Some of Yorkshire's leading manufacturing figures will feature in the free event, BMW Blast, staged by West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.

Panelists include Louise Frankland, managing director of Mansfield Pollard in Bradford; Bradford University’s Professor Ben Whiteside, and Solenis site manager David Calder. The event is being hosted by chamber chief executive, James Mason.

Mark Cowgill, the chamber's president elect, says: "Bradford district has one of the finest manufacturing sectors in the country, and Bradford Manufacturing Weeks has done so much good work in giving it new blood.

"The scheme has connected 15,000 students in the region to the manufacturing sector, helping to launch many a career.

"Manufacturing can give you a well-paid, secure and incredibly interesting career that can take your work across the planet.

"Bradford Manufacturing Weeks brings manufacturers, schools and young people together through tours, work experience, seminars, exhibitions and learning events which are held at manufacturers' premises and key locations across the district."

Sponsors of this year's Bradford Manufacturing Weeks are Bradford Council, Bradford University, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, Natwest and Azets.

More manufacturing companies are invited to get involved in the event.

For further information - including webinar details - and to take part, go to