MORE than 30 firms have signed-up to take part in this year’s Bradford Manufacturing Weeks.

The annual initiative aims to encourage the district’s school children to consider a career in manufacturing.

Led by West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, the venture sees firms showcase the range of opportunities available.

Since Bradford Manufacturing Weeks began in 2018, more than 12,000 ‘experiences’ have been created for 14-to-18-year-old students.

Last year the event was held virtually, with over 4,500 young people taking part in online careers activities and video tours of manufacturing operations.

For this year’s event, which will run from October 4 to 15, organisers are offering a combination of online and in-person experiences.

Pupils from 45 schools across the district will be involved.

Among those taking part are Cross Hills-based Airedale Chemical and South Craven School in the village.

And three apprentices from the company – Madison Heigold, Max Chadwick and Lucy Sage – spoke to students about the firm’s plans for the week and gained feedback.

Lucy said: “We talked about how we’re planning to give an insight into multiple manufacturing roles here at Airedale Chemical – from sourcing raw materials through to manufacturing, developing a marketing plan and creating a sales strategy.

“It was helpful to hear first-hand what the students would like to see and experience during our tours and great to see how enthusiastic they were about our plans.”

Among the students was Shadi Hashem, 17. He said: “We’d really like to see more of the site during Bradford Manufacturing Weeks and particularly the labs. We’re all keeping our career options open so it’ll be great to spend more time on a site which offers such a wide range of roles.”

Craig Thomson – chief financial officer of the Airedale Group, which includes Airedale Chemical – said: “We’ve been involved with Bradford Manufacturing Weeks since it began three years ago. We have found it incredibly rewarding to see pupils’ interest in a manufacturing career once they understand more about what’s involved. We’re also making short videos and offering tours to fully utilise our apprentices’ experience and insight.”

For more information about Bradford Manufacturing Weeks, visit