Firm looking to recruit as expansion goes ahead

AN engineering firm is pressing ahead with plans to recruit more than 80 extra staff as it prepares to expand.

Tharsus is opening a second site in Blyth this month, just 400 yards from its current Spencer Road premises, and hopes to take on some of the 500-plus workers being laid off by Lynemouth’s Rio Tinto Alcan plant to fill the vacancies set to arise there.

The company, founded in 1964, announced in November that it would be creating more than 80 jobs over the next two years after securing almost £700,000 worth of investment from the government’s regional growth fund, as reported in the News Post Leader.

Chief executive Brian Palmer said: “Although unemployment rates continue to play out differently across the UK, it is the north east that continues to have the highest rate of unemployment, even if it is beginning to flatten out.

“Much of the unemployment figures, however, have come as a result of public-sector cuts.

“Over the past 12 months, the public sector overall has lost 270,000 jobs, while the private sector has created 226,000, which means the government has put a lot of its faith in a private-sector recovery to lead the UK out of the economic doldrums.

“If the emphasis is being put on the private sector to help ease the economic situation, assistance such as the regional growth fund is vital to help us invest to compete globally.

“We work in a global marketplace and have already had a lot of interest from US companies seeking a manufacturing partner to take products into the European marketplace.

“To bid for these contracts, we need the very best workforce and facilities, which we now have, thanks to our ambitious investment programme.

“With our commitment to training and apprenticeship schemes too, we are certainly hoping to be a leading north east light in career development for young people wanting to enter the engineering sector.”

Overall investment of around £3m being made by the Hebburn-based business in new equipment and its extra premises in Blyth.