More than 130 employers and training providers are coming together during National Apprenticeship Week from 8-12 February, to showcase the diverse range of careers that are available as a first step on the jobs ladder for students and graduates in Yorkshire.Manufacturing is one of the most strongly represented sectors at the 2021 event and organisers of the Leeds Manufacturing Festival will be hosting live Q&A sessions every evening for parents and young people. Some of the city’s leading manufacturing employers, such as jukebox manufacturer Sound Leisure and medical lighting producer Brandon Medical, will be taking part to showcase the opportunities on offer for young people in a sector keen to recruit new talent.Leeds is home to more than 1,600 manufacturing businesses, employing over 30,000 people and the sector includes a host of flourishing healthcare technology and medical device manufacturing businesses for which the Leeds City Region is fast becoming a nationally and internationally renowned. B. Braun Sterilog, which employs 180 people at its decontamination site in Pudsey, is part of healthcare products company B. Braun Medical. The firm’s thriving apprenticeship scheme ensures a supply of new recruits to the business and has been developed to offer young people a diverse range of schemes.Lisa Burns, head of HR at B. Braun Medical, said: “Our apprenticeship programme is a core element of our business: we invest a lot of time, resources and effort in our apprentices to give them exposure to learning and development opportunities. That comes from board level and is reflected throughout B. Braun, and everyone is very passionate about the enhanced experience we offer our apprentices. “They work across different departments throughout their time with us so just about every member of staff knows them. They are the future talent and we want them to stay with us for a long time and develop their careers with us. We want to ensure we continue to attract, recruit, develop, and retain the highly skilled employees of tomorrow.” Graham Cooper, one of the organisers of Leeds Manufacturing Festival, said: “As the manufacturing sector emerges from the immense complexities of the pandemic, to a new economic landscape, the need to attract new talent to ensure continuity and a sustainable future will be more urgent than ever.“Young people have made tremendous sacrifices over the past year but the good news is that there is a wealth of opportunity in manufacturing for school and college leavers, as well as graduates, here in Leeds. The range of apprenticeships and other options available within the city’s manufacturing industry is tremendously diverse and offer brilliant potential for career development, with many apprentices going on to become senior managers as they progress within a business.”For more information on the 2021 Leeds Apprenticeship Festival and how to pre-book live sessions, go to leedsapprenticeshipfestival.co.uk. Now in its third year, Leeds Manufacturing Festival is organised by the Leeds Manufacturing Alliance and Leeds Chamber and supported by Leeds City Council and the Leeds City Region LEP. Accountant RSM, Leeds City College and The Works Recruitment are all sponsors of the festival.Schools, manufacturing businesses and students can find out more at leedsmanufacturingfestival.co.uk.
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