Food and drink producers key speakers at Leeds manufacturing event

The Leeds Manufacturing Festival, a programme of events set up to showcase careers in manufacturing and help firms open their doors to students across the city, is inviting employers to attend a networking session this month, to find out more about the initiative. The city-centre event on 26 June invites Leeds-based manufacturers to meet firms taking part in the Leeds Manufacturing Festival and discuss skills and recruitment challenges. Speaking at the event will be John Gyngell, co-founder of award winning brewery and tap rooms, North Brewing, and Jonathan Lill, CEO of cakes and desserts producer Bright Blue Foods. “People are the most important part of any business,” said Mr Gyngell. “As a result of the huge growth in the craft brewing industry we face enormous challenges recruiting people with the necessary knowledge and expertise. “With the vocational element of training mostly missing from the industry, we largely train internally. We’ve had to take a passionate group of people and help them along the way, assisting with funding for qualifications and in house training.” Graham Cooper, Leeds Manufacturing Festival organiser and director of Leeds printing products manufacturer Agfa Graphics, said: “The networking evening will be a great opportunity for some of Leeds’ 1,800 manufacturers to discuss the pressing issues they face in the current climate of economic and political uncertainty. “Skills and recruitment always top the agenda and the Leeds Manufacturing Festival directly addresses this issue by showing 10,000 young people across the city, as well as their parents and teachers, the career opportunities that are available right here in Leeds’ vibrant manufacturing sector.” The networking event takes place at 5pm-7.30pm on 26 June and will be held at festival sponsor RSM’s Central Square offices in Leeds. Manufacturing employers interested in attending should check the Leeds Manufacturing Festival website The UK’s third largest manufacturing centre, Leeds is home to more than 1,800 manufacturing firms, employing 26,000 people. The Leeds Manufacturing Festival, which runs until October, includes an extensive programme of events linking young people with potential employers. Now in its second year, the festival is sponsored by RSM, Womble Bond Dickinson, The Works Recruitment and Leeds City College. It is organised by Leeds Manufacturing Alliance, with the support of Leeds Chamber of Commerce, Leeds City Council and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP). The initiative is complemented by Bradford Manufacturing Weeks, which take place in October. Manufacturing businesses, schools, and students can find out more about the festival, and how to get involved, at

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