From education to employment

Manufacturing sector bounces back with 20% jobs boost

£1.9m contract win for @BrandonMedical to supply one of London’s largest teaching hospitals 

Brandon Medical, a Leeds-based business that produces operating theatre and intensive care unit equipment for the healthcare industry, has secured a £1.86m contract to supply its products to one of London’s largest teaching hospitals.

The firm, which has seen a 10% increase in its workforce to 78 employees over the past six months, is one of a growing number of manufacturers in the region to report an increase in business confidence, and plans to create new jobs in the coming months.

According to the latest Quarterly Economic Survey from the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, Q2 of 2021 saw a substantial increase in confidence, with Yorkshire manufacturers anticipating growth in turnover and profit over the next 12 months at levels last reported in 2015, along with an expected 18% boost to the size of the workforce.

The survey also found that almost half of the region’s manufacturing firms had attempted to recruit in the last quarter, largely for permanent, full-time roles, with almost a third reporting difficulties in finding appropriately skilled candidates.

Brandon Medical is one of dozens of firms involved in the Leeds Manufacturing Festival, an initiative by manufacturing employers to raise awareness among young people of the career opportunities available in Leeds’ manufacturing sector and help boost skills and recruitment. Now in its third year, the 2021 festival has featured a series of online events connecting young people at schools and colleges with some of the city’s most innovative and successful manufacturing businesses.

Graeme Hall, managing director of Brandon Medical who began his career in manufacturing as a graduate apprentice, said:

“New talent is absolutely the life blood for manufacturing businesses like ours and it’s so important to get young people enthused about the careers we can offer them via initiatives like the Leeds Manufacturing Festival.

“Young people have been hit extremely hard by the challenges of the pandemic and the new job opportunities that are becoming available again, with the resurgence of confidence in the manufacturing sector, are extremely positive. Manufacturing is a great career choice – it’s a creative process and people who work in the industry are immensely proud of what they produce.”

Brandon Medical, which is currently actively recruiting for a range of roles, including at apprentice level, has directly benefited from the festival, recruiting a student at Leeds University Technical College (UTC) as a new apprentice in summer 2020 after connecting at one of the festival events.

Tracey Dawson, chair of this year’s Leeds Manufacturing Festival and managing director of Daletech Electronics in Leeds, said:

“There are growing numbers of job opportunities out there with some really exciting manufacturing firms in Leeds and beyond. I’d urge young people to find out more at our festival website, and via their school careers department, and discover what manufacturing is all about. This could be your first step to a fantastic future career.”

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