A TEXTILE Careers Day held in Huddersfield yesterday has been hailed a real success.
Textile bosses and careers advisers mingled with more than 100 mostly young people who went along to the Textile Centre of Excellence in Red Doles Lane to find out more about working in the industry.
Ten textile companies exhibited at the event, seven from Huddersfield and three from Bradford, Dewsbury and Otley.
Several of the firms had existing job vacancies and it was hoped that by the end of the day, they would have made contact with potential applicants to fill the positions.
Representatives from the National Apprenticeship Service and Calderdale and Kirklees Careers were also on hand to give out advice and take the names of young people who were interested in training.
The event followed recent concerns that young people did not want careers in the textile trade, highlighted in the Examiner.
Bill Macbeth, managing director of the centre, said: “The day is proving to be a real success. It’s a great turnout.”
Chairman Paul Johnson, who is managing director of Moldgreen textile finishers W T Johnson, said that he was “delighted” with the attendance and level of interest.
He said that it was important to get the message over to young people that Huddersfield had world class companies producing the finest worsted in the world.
He added: “Huddersfield is the only place in the world where the name of the town on the selvedge adds value”.
Rebecca Williamson, 19, of White Hart Drive, Newsome, was one of the young people who attended. She has been looking for a job since leaving Greenhead Sixth Form College last summer.
She said: “I want to go into an industry in which I can progress. I might have to work my way up by starting off on a machine, but would want to be able to progress to management.
“Originally textiles did not really spring to mind. But I have learned more about the companies and talked to their people today and I think it could be a career for me.”
She added that she was “hopeful” of finding a position within textiles and had registered with the Apprenticeship Service and two local companies.
Gordon Hawley, of Paragon Textiles, who featured in the Examiner when he was unable to find an apprentice, was also in attendance.
He said of the event: “We have had an excellent reponse. There will be quite a few people attending who will be employed by the end of the day.”
Careers manager Linda Beever hoped that the momentum generated would continue. She added that the careers service was currently making plans to forge closer links between young people in education and local textile companies.