Manufacturing in Leeds & Careers in Manufacturing | Daletech

Manufacturing in Leeds & Careers in Manufacturing | Daletech

Supporting and futureproofing manufacturing in Leeds 

Here at Daletech, we’re obviously heavily invested in the future of manufacturing in Leeds, having been part of the industry’s local landscape for over 30 years. That’s why we’re once again proud to be supporting this year’s Leeds Manufacturing Festival, with our very own MD, Tracey Dawson, acting as chair for the event.  

Yes, it’s that time of year again, where businesses and leaders in manufacturing across the Leeds region come together to promote the industry and forge connections with education centres, young people and their parents.

One of the largest events of its kind in the UK, the manufacturing festival started out in 2018, and has grown in size, popularity and results ever since. Even during the peak of the pandemic, the festival was still able to run, albeit in a more limited and online capacity. But it was still able to deliver on its purpose of introducing local communities and the next generation of manufacturers to the possibility of a career in the sector.

What’s so special about manufacturing in Leeds?

In yesteryear, the UK was known for its strong and flourishing manufacturing industry, but over more recent decades, our reputation seems to have taken a bit of a dive. However, contrary to popular belief, the UK still features in the global leader-board of manufacturing.

In Leeds alone, we have at the latest count over 1,600 manufacturing companies in operation (Daletech among them!) which between them directly employ almost 30,000 people. When calculated by local authority area, Leeds is the country’s number three manufacturing centre – so it makes sense to ensure that the youngsters of the city recognise the myriad career opportunities available to them in our industry.

What’s happening at the 2022 Leeds Manufacturing Festival?

Organised by the Leeds Manufacturing Alliance, one of the main aims of the festival is to futureproof the industry. By encouraging young people to consider careers in manufacturing as a viable and interesting option and raising awareness of the industry as a whole, the festival is a great way to open up a whole new world of opportunities for local students.  

Manufacturing is a varied and vibrant industry, covering a wide range of skill-sets – so it makes sense for those who understand it first-hand to promote it and conjure up some enthusiasm! So that’s what we’re aiming to do.

The festival kicks off on Tuesday February 1st, at Leeds City College (Printworks campus), with a series of keynote speeches where discussions will centre on meeting the challenges of recruitment and skills in the industry.

This is, of course, where reaching out to young people comes in – and the need to work collaboratively with schools, colleges, universities and students. To help this aspect along, we’re also lucky to have the input of Ahead Partnership, who are rolling out some fantastic online experiences to allow maximum engagement with our future generation of manufacturing wizards!

Hosted by volunteers and sponsors from manufacturing businesses in Leeds, events include:

●                    Factory tours – we aim to provide some live factory tours where possible, or virtually if necessary, so you can experience a manufacturing company and its day-to-day operations from the inside.

●                    Recruitment fairs and career panels – meet and hear from local employers about the different kinds of careers they can offer.

●                    Interactive live stream events – get involved, get clued-up and get ready to discover the many faces of manufacturing and how you can contribute to its future.

If you’d like to see Tracey talk about the festival, watch the recent interview below with Manufacturing TV where you’ll get a sense of her passion for manufacturing in Leeds and the industry as a whole:

Credit: ManufacturingTV

Careers in manufacturing may be broader than you think

When the kids come home and start chatting about possible future careers, it’s fairly unlikely that any job list will include working in manufacturing. Lack of exposure and a limited view on the industry means that many young people on the cusp of their first career step won’t even consider the industry as an option.

One thing the Leeds Manufacturing Festival does incredibly well is to show the up-and-coming generation of job-seekers that our industry is rife with opportunities, whether you’re particularly technically minded or not.

There are a wide variety of careers in manufacturing – here are just a few:

●                    Research and development

●                    Design and prototyping

●                    Assembly/production

●                    Engineering

●                    Health and Safety

●                    HR and admin

While some skills are very specific to their associated roles, there are plenty of ways to enter the industry or access internships or apprenticeships if their chosen education path didn’t lead in this direction.

In what is still quite a male-dominated industry, Tracey is also a big champion of bringing young women into manufacturing – especially having seen first-hand how the passion has rubbed off on some of Daletech’s own young staff members.

We currently employ two young female engineers and an assembly worker and Abby, who is currently in her final apprenticeship year with us through Leeds City College, is loving her life as an electronics production engineer.

“I’ve really enjoyed every aspect of my time here at Daletech,” she says. “Electronics is a genuinely interesting subject, and it’s amazing to be able to gain this level of experience alongside my studies. I’m not sure where my career will go in the future, but I can see myself being part of this industry for a very long time!”

Over the years we’ve had a few apprenticeship success stories, with another of our younger intake also finding his time at Daletech a huge boost to his future career path. Frank, who is currently studying towards a degree in electronics, has been with us for two years now and will become a full time, permanent member of our team once his course has finished.

He says: “Having this first-hand experience alongside my degree has given me an incredible amount of insight into electronics manufacturing, and the support of the surrounding team has been brilliant. It’s also been really helpful in giving me the confidence of knowing that I’m definitely studying the right subject and am on the right track for my future.”

Learn more about careers in manufacturing in Leeds

If you’re a young person looking for potential career options for the future, a parent/carer or a teacher/education professional looking to inspire the next generation, the Leeds Manufacturing Festival is well worth checking out.

You can find more details about the festival here, including how to register at our events. We’re very proud to be representing manufacturing in Leeds and can’t wait for the festival to start!

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