Inspire, Encourage, Educate – that’s the slogan of Bradford Manufacturing Week. To achieve this goal and find out more about the manufacturing world, we invited students and staff from Oastlers School in Bradford to visit our Brighouse premises.
Oastlers is a new co-educational school, specially designed to cater for 80 pupils aged 11 to 19 who have emotional, social and behavioural needs. A total of 11 learners from the school attended the workplace visit, accompanied by three staff members.
The event took place on Thursday 11 October, with the aim of giving students a full flavour of the diverse range of jobs open to them in the manufacturing sector and answering their questions on the qualifications they might need and the best training routes into a career in manufacturing.
To show as many different roles in the business as possible, we organised a programme of short talks and demonstrations by our staff working in a range of different departments.
The visit began with refreshments in the training room, which allowed us to show how compressed air is used to manufacture crisps and how nitrogen is added to the bag to keep the crisps fresh.
This was followed by a talk by our Health & Safety Manager, Veronica Oie, about the importance of keeping staff safe in the workplace.
Next, our Technical Trainer, Andy Kershaw, gave an introduction to compressed air – what it is and what it’s used for. Students were given the example of how compressed air is used in biscuit and chocolate bar manufacture, including putting the bubbles into a Wispa bar, and were shown a video about the many other applications of compressed air.
Following the introductory talks, our Managing Director Ian Harrison and Operations Director Matt O’Connor each took a group on a tour of the PPS site. This gave the students the opportunity to meet the following staff:
- Paul in the Service department
- Ash and Leland, who demonstrated air tools and the running of an Atlas Copco GA11VSD+FF air compressor
- Hayden, who demonstrated our CAD designs
- Kelly and Anita in Accounts & Credit Control
- Yvonne, Nicole and Demi in the Sales Admin department
- Carl, who talked about the sales side of the business
- Ethan on the Trade Counter
- Alex in compressor spares
At the end of the tour, the students met back at the Training Room for a “Today I learnt…” exercise.
As well as leaving with a better understanding of the manufacturing world and the importance of compressed air in the manufacturing industry, they were able to take away a goody bag that included branded Atlas Copco gifts.
“Working within our community is extremely important to PPS. Opening our doors to the students of Oastlers during Bradford Manufacturing Week was a great way to embrace the next generation and to address some of the common misconceptions of working in the manufacturing sector. We look forward to continuing the relationship with Oastlers and being involved in Bradford Manufacturing Week 2019!”
Matt O’Connor, Operations Director, PPS
The initiative was considered a great success and there are already plans to continue Bradford Manufacturing Week as an annual feature on the calendar.
About Bradford Manufacturing Week
The week-long event is the brainchild of Nick Garthwaite, MD at Christeyns chemical manufacturer and the President of the Bradford Chamber, part of the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce. The initiative is also supported by Barclays and the Bradford Economic Partnership.
The idea behind Bradford Manufacturing Week is to encourage students from Bradford schools to consider a career in the manufacturing industry by giving them the opportunity to go behind the scenes at successful local firms.
Support for the scheme has come from Bradford South MP Judith Cummins, who said the area was “full of brilliant manufacturing businesses… this is a chance to show this kind of work off to the widest possible audience”, and from the Prime Minister Theresa May, who called it “a great opportunity” that enabled future generations “to see the potential of a career in the manufacturing industry.”