Automotive Insulations (AI), part of the British owned Autins Group, has announced that it has doubled the number of staff since moving into new premises last year as part of a £6 million expansion programme.
The automotive component manufacturer has taken on around 80 staff over the past 12 months, both on the shop floor and in administrative positions to help meet growing demand from vehicle manufacturers.
The company develops and manufactures lightweight thermal and acoustic parts for the automotive industry, including the expanding commercial vehicle market.
AI tripled production space when they moved with 87 staff to new premises in Rugby in 2014. A year on and the company employs more than 160 staff, including temporary workers.
As part of the expansion programme, AI has also invested in new technology and modern machinery which allows the company to carry out a wide range of testing and development processes in house.
CEO of the Autins Group, Jim Griffin commented: “Our larger purpose-built premises not only enabled us to invest in new equipment, it also allowed us to increase production and accommodate more staff.
“Having the extra space has created more flexibility so we can take on staff as and when needed, meaning we can respond to fluctuations in the market more effectively.”
Following the summer holiday period, AI is looking to recruit up to 30 additional shop floor production staff to meet demand from customers the likes of JLR, VW and Bentley.
Positions include a material planning and logistics manager, a purchasing manager and machine operatives.
In addition, AI has recently put forward two apprentices for an apprenticeship programme for maintenance engineers, run by Toyota. One of these apprentices comes from the WMG Academy for Young Engineers in Coventry, making AI the first partner organisation to employ a student from the academy.
Other training initiatives include putting five staff through a course to qualify them to teach, both in-house and externally in addition to training four members of staff as NVQ assessors. The aim is to enhance the company’s training capacity and to ensure that personnel are trained to the high standard AI require.
The company is also rolling out a project of intensive training predominantly for warehouse and despatch staff and some production operatives including areas such as LEAN, team leader training, management training and business improvement techniques.
Griffin continued:“We have invested more than £2m in new equipment but are also committed as a company to investing in our people as they are the most important resource that we have.
“We aim to be both a supplier and an employer of choice in the manufacturing industry and are proud of the extensive training programme that we have in place. The industry needs skilled workers now more than ever.”
The UK automotive sector has enjoyed 40 consecutive months of growth to June 2015 with an estimated 4,500 new jobs created so far this year.
British built cars are in demand, making up the highest proportion of newly registered cars for five years, while exports are steady – accounting for 11.8% of all UK exports in 2014. The commercial vehicle market is also performing well with a 32% increase in output so far this year.