Plant & Works Engineering
Leeds industry awards return to celebrate manufacturing’s rising stars
Published:  29 May, 2024

West Yorkshire’s manufacturing and engineering employers are once again being urged to nominate their outstanding younger employees for the 2024 Leeds Manufacturing Festival Awards, which return for the third year to celebrate the rising stars of the sector.

The awards are one of the highlights of the Leeds Manufacturing Festival. As well as recognising the successes and achievements of younger people within the industry, they also aim to showcase the diversity of careers available in a sector that faces a continued skills crisis and shortfall of new talent.

Nominations for the awards are now open and close Friday 31 May, with an awards ceremony taking place at the Rose Bowl, Leeds Beckett University, next month.

This year’s award categories are for Apprentice of the Year, Rising Star of the Year, Future Manufacturing Leader and Employer of the Year. This year’s event will also feature a special award for Manufacturing Ambassador, which will be presented to an individual who has done something exceptional to raise the profile of the industry.

Adam Tipper, whose Next Gen Makers organisation delivers a nationally recognised quality assurance programme for engineering apprenticeships and is sponsoring the Apprentice of the Year category, said: “Apprentices are the lifeblood of manufacturing and engineering firms and this award is a real celebration of excellence and of the industry as a fantastic career choice for ambitious young people.

“Resources such as our Engineering Apprenticeships: Excellent Employers online careers platform are helping students to identify the best firms for apprenticeships and really empowering both young people and the industry to achieve great things.”

Sponsor of the Rising Star award, Leeds City College’s head of engineering, Mitch Scott, said: “We work as a team with employers to ensure they are equipped to nurture and develop young people starting out in their careers and enable them to develop their full potential. These awards, and especially the Rising Star category, are an important recognition of the fantastic young people who bring vital energy and innovation to the sector.”

The Employer of the Year category, for a business that has excelled in attracting and supporting talented young people, is sponsored by engineering and manufacturing recruiter E3 Recruitment. Associate director Matthew Booth said: “Attracting talented young people and enabling them to thrive and contribute great things to a business is very much down to the employers and we’re really pleased to be sponsoring this category which recognises the huge effort and focus that the very best employers put into developing their young trainees and employees, offering job satisfaction and great careers.”

Entry forms for the Leeds Manufacturing Festival Awards can be found on the festival website and entries must be received by 31 May. The awards ceremony will take place on 13 June, compered by Yorkshire Post deputy business editor Greg Wright.

Leeds Manufacturing Festival is sponsored by Next Gen Makers, Leeds City College, and E3 Recruitment, as well as by Leeds City Council and manufacturing employers MPM, Leeds Welding Company, Greyhound Box and Sound Leisure, Kirkstall Precision Engineering, Saftronics and Bensons Panels, which are members of the Leeds Manufacturing Alliance