North East manufacturer creates over 80 jobs with post-Covid recruitment drive

Posted on 25 Aug 2021 by The Manufacturer

A North East manufacturer has created more than 80 skilled jobs as part of a post-Covid recruitment drive to deal with growing demand for its products.

Birtley-based Komatsu UK has announced the raft of new roles in response to a host of new orders from the domestic and European markets, as well as to continue building its workforce for future growth.

The hydraulic excavator, dump truck and crawler dozer manufacturer is looking to fill positions in the factory and support departments, as well as 10 new apprenticeship roles.

A Komatsu WA475-10 wheel loader at the Le Mans 24 racetrack during the product launch event in 2019. Image courtesy of Komatsu Europe

A Komatsu WA475-10 wheel loader at the Le Mans 24 racetrack during the product launch event in 2019. Image courtesy of Komatsu Europe

Overseeing the recruitment drive is Komatsu UK HR manager, Katie O’Brien. She commented: “It is fantastic to join such a respected and well-established company at a time when we are preparing ourselves for considerable growth.

“So far we have filled around half of the roles across both production and support departments. Our focus now is on finding the right people for the remaining vacancies.

“Komatsu UK offers people a fantastic career with genuine pathways to develop skills and access promotion opportunities. I would urge anyone with a background and experience in the engineering sector and automotive or construction plant manufacturing to get in touch – KUK may have the perfect job for them.”

The new jobs have been created in a variety of factory floor departments including production, assembly, paint shop, welding and fabrication, with support roles including purchasing, design and logistics.

Paul Blanchard, KUK managing director, added: “Like all businesses, Komatsu had to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances caused by the COVID pandemic throughout 2020 and into 2021.

“And it’s credit to all KUK employees that as we emerge from such a turbulent period in history, KUK remains in a healthy and robust position and ready to launch a significant recruitment drive.

“We take great pride in the way we invest in the development of our employees and everyone we take on in the coming months will be offered not only a varied and exciting career, but also the chance to enhance their knowledge, develop new skills and become part of a focused, committed workforce that has been part of the economic fabric of the North East for the past 34 years and global company for a century.”

This year, Komatsu Group, the company’s global presence, celebrated its 100th anniversary. Komatsu UK marked the event in May by planting 10 Japanese cherry blossom trees and installing a floral display at the entrance to the Birtley plant.

Worldwide, Komatsu Group now comprises over 250 companies. It employs around 63,000 people and is the world’s second largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment.

Komatsu UK has delivered excavators since the plant was established in 1987, following a range of Japanese practices and ways of working unheard of in most UK plants since its inception.

Starting with 250 manufacturing and engineering roles, Komatsu helped create a whole new industry in the North East that centred around automotive and construction equipment manufacturing.

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*Header image courtesy of Komatsu Europe