Making manufacturing inclusive, interactive and inspiring

Pupils from 40 schools and more than 30 local employers came together to share experiences of a career in Bradford’s manufacturing sector, including pupils of Oastlers School in Bradford and Keighley who are working with Cleckheaton-based cosmetic and personal care manufacturer Orean.

Based on West 26 Industrial Estate in Cleckheaton and employer of a 238-strong local workforce, Orean creates skin and hair products for national and international beauty brands, specialising in first-to-market innovation, manufacture, filling, distribution and export.

“Roles here include marketing, accounting, logistics, chemistry and of course hands on manufacturing,” explains Orean’s Company Social and Responsibility Officer Katy Trewartha. “Our success has been built on the rich history of manufacturing in Yorkshire and a huge part of that is due to our local workforce, a growing number of which are school leavers and apprentices.

“Bradford Manufacturing Weeks is a fantastic way for us to meet the next generation of business leaders and ensure today’s students understand the range of fulfilling careers right here on their doorstep.”
Led by West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, Bradford Manufacturing Weeks (3-14 October) introduces students to a career in manufacturing through work placements, manufacturer tours, work experience and skills events to support students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

Robert Fairbairn, Head of Centre at Oastlers’ Keighley site, said: “Thanks to Bradford Manufacturing Weeks we now have connections with a range of manufacturers across the district.”

The West and North Yorkshire Chamber’s Bradford Manufacturing Weeks initiative is delivered in partnership with Bradford-based school and career specialists The Opportunity Centre and is sponsored by Bradford Council, E3 Recruitment, the University of Bradford, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, Naylor Wintersgill and LCF Law.

New for 2022 are specialist manufacturing site visits and events for pupils with special educational needs, alongside University of Bradford faculty tours and the popular “Women in Manufacturing” Q&A event and a mix of virtual and in person “Meet the Manufacturer” and “Meet the Apprentice” panel events. A Dragon’s Den-style competition themed “Tech for Good” is also aimed at encouraging students to solve a problem based around the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Orean’s Katy Trewartha added: “Manufacturing in Yorkshire has a bright future and the talented students in our local schools add a real spark to our business. We are so grateful to Bradford Manufacturing Weeks for providing additional opportunities to introduce students to our business and helping us secure our future pipeline of talent.”
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