HUNDREDS of jobs are being created over the next three years as several businesses announce major growth plans.
Companies in East Durham are looking to employ more than 600 people in the next 12 months with a further 200 planned during 2016 and 2017.
The businesses, including TRW, The AMA Group, Albany Assistance, Peterlee Glass and Bristol Laboratories, have all outlined their intention to expand, bringing a much-needed jobs boost to the area.
Business Durham’s Business Development Area Manager, Joanne Urquhart-Arnold, sits on the Peterlee Business Park steering group and is not surprised that businesses in the area are thriving.
Joanne said: “There’s a real positive vibe among the business community which is reflected in the recent announcements from a number of employers who are expanding and creating jobs.
“The encouraging thing is that growth is evident in a number of sectors, from manufacturing to pharmaceuticals, and it’s great to see the area doing so well.
“The steering group members, together with businesses, have worked incredibly hard to change perceptions of the area and raise its profile for the right reasons. Now I think there’s an acknowledgement that it’s not all doom and gloom here, that our businesses are growing and in the process creating jobs, bringing a huge boost to the area and its community.”
Across County Durham, there was a 35.1 per cent decline in the number of people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance in 2014. The figure now stands at 4,230.
Joanne added: “These figures speak volumes about the work that businesses are doing to help people get into work. With the recent announcements around job creation, we can expect more people to start working and the number of claimants continuing to fall.”
Bristol Laboratories are looking to take on around 300 employees as they continue to grow out of their base at Whitehouse Business Park.
The AMA Group has also confirmed plans to recruit between eight to 12 employees every month over the next year.
Automotive manufacturer TRW is undergoing a period of significant growth and expects its workforce to rise from 700 to 1,000 by the end of 2017.
Robin Finley, plant manager at Peterlee, said: “Our site is experiencing a substantial and sustained increase in demand for our products which will see us undertaking major growth between now and 2018.
“We have already made 25 temporary staff permanent and expect a further 50 agency workers to be assuming TRW contracts over the coming months. In addition, we are creating around 20 engineering and technical positions which will see our workforce exceed 750 by the end of 2015.
“Looking at our projected growth based on the company’s forward order book, we expect our workforce will reach 1,000 by 2018.”
Albany Assistance continues to expand and recently took on 65 employees in its call centre with further recruitment planned while, after a major investment, Peterlee Glass is looking to take on five skilled workers.
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