50 new jobs at factory

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An engineering firm is recruiting 50 new workers after completing a multi-million pound extension.

Mecaplast Peterlee, which has completed a 120ft extension and installed four new injection-moulding presses, is recruiting for production, logistics and technical staff at its factory on the North West Industrial Estate.

The company, which was established in 1996, employs around 100 staff and going into 2014 bosses hope to increase this by another 50.

It comes as the latest Government figures show there were 3,009 people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in the Easington constituency in August, down from 3,125 in the previous month.

The latest figure accounts for 5.7 per cent of the working age population in the area and is higher than the North-East average of 4.9 per cent and the national average of 3.3 per cent.

A spokesman for the firm said: “Mecaplast like many other Automotive companies has suffered hard times between 2009 and 2011 as the industry was hard hit with low car sales.

“However, the future does look promising with a new order book up to 2016, a new extension complete with internal loading and unloading facilities and ongoing recruiting and training for existing staff.”

Bosses say the future is a massive challenge for Mecaplast, which prides itself in employing local workers.

The majority of the staff come from Peterlee, Easington, Horden, Blackhall, Murton, Wingate and Wheatley Hill and Seaham.

The firm, whose turnover in 2013 is expected to be around the £10m, makes parts for the automotive industry, with three main customers being Nissan, Toyota and General Motors.

Mecaplast also has an apprentice programme and currently has six apprentices and works with colleges in Peterlee, Hartlepool, and Darlington, as well as Teesside and Sunderland universities and other training organisations.

The spokesman added: “The company’s investment amounting to millions of pounds has created job security for its workforce and the morale and buzz around the site is exciting.

“The company faces some really new challenges with the increased production and the increase in logistics work, but are facing them head on.

“The service to the customer is paramount. We need to continue to produce and deliver quality parts on time and continue to provide employment to local people who want security and stability as part of their working life.”