Chris Black Soundleisure
Chris Black from Sound Leisure - one of the companies taking part in the Leeds Manufacturing Festival.
Rebecca Wayman

Leeds' manufacturers set to take on city's first ever business festival for young people

Manufacturers from across Leeds are set to open their doors to young people in order to help change perceptions of the industry during a month-long festival.

Leeds Manufacturing Festival will see businesses taking part in the event, throughout October, which is being run by the Leeds Manufacturing Alliance.

Victoria Hopkins, from Hopkins Catering in Leeds, who is one of the key people behind the initiative, said: “Leeds Manufacturing Festival will be a great opportunity for businesses to open their doors and show young people the range of roles and activities that take place in the industry.

“This is a chance for Leeds to showcase this vibrant modern sector by showing what goes on behind the scenes and getting people in the industry to share their stories.”

Leeds is the third largest manufacturing centre in the country by local authority area with around 1,800 SME manufacturers.

The Leeds Manufacturing Alliance know that not all of these companies are involved at the moment, and are urging more to come forward and help to inspire the next generation.

Victoria added: “We know that not every business will be able to host a school visit, but we’d like to invite smaller firms to volunteer some of their time to go into schools and speak to students.

“Together we can make a real difference, dispel some of the myths of working in manufacturing and encourage young people to find out more about the sector.”

It is hoped that the Leeds Manufacturing Festival will become an annual event which will help towards fundamentally changing perceptions about the sector.

Victoria concluded: “Manufacturing has changed hugely over the last two decades, this sector in no longer all about getting your hands dirty and doing shift work for very little money.

“Indeed, a lot of manufacturing is at the forefront of how our world is developing and careers can be very exciting and rewarding.”

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