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Manufacturing celebration in Leeds with exciting new festival

Conference Leeds, is shining a spotlight on the city’s manufacturing sector in the build-up to an exciting new manufacturing festival taking place in October 2018.

Leeds Manufacturing Festival is organised by members of the Leeds Manufacturing Alliance, which brings together key employers from the sector and business support organisations, supported by West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, Leeds City Council’s manufacturing employers’ organisation EEF and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The festival will offer a series of local events specifically designed to increase engagement between manufacturing businesses, young people, schools and local communities. It aims to inspire the manufacturers of the future, by addressing skills shortages and encouraging young people to consider a career in the sector. The festival will involve local companies visiting schools to discuss careers in manufacturing with students, as well as opening their factory doors to host tours to provide insight into modern manufacturing.

Leeds City Region has the highest concentration of manufacturing in the UK, with the sector being worth over £7 billion, and also has double the national average of companies in advanced manufacturing. Specific manufacturing strengths include energy power, with one sixth of the UK’s electricity generated in the region and the University of Leeds is ranked 1st in the UK for Bioenergy Research. Yorkshire is also the UK’s biggest food producer, dominating in a number of food and drink sectors with many major companies, such as Arla and ASDA Food, based in Leeds.

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the LEP commented: “We’re delighted to support the inaugural Leeds Manufacturing Festival. This event is designed to connect manufacturing businesses to local schools and colleges to help address the skills shortage and talent gaps within the industry.

Manufacturing plays a key role in the Leeds City Region economy but there is real challenge in attracting the next generation into industry. We are working with schools and employers across the region to inspire young people to consider a career in manufacturing. In addition to reaching over 1 million people through our #futuregoals careers campaign, the LEP has supported over 540 apprentices to work in this sector so we know the appetite is there.”

Claire Heap, Head of ConferenceLeeds added: “This festival will highlight the importance of manufacturing to Leeds and the great opportunities that careers in manufacturing present. It will shine a spotlight on our world class companies who will be providing the knowledge and expertise. Leeds City Region has a network of established hub of manufacturing excellence and it is important that we continue this success through encouraging new talent.”