'It really doesn’t matter how old you are' - firm launches search for 35 new staff

A rapidly growing foundry business has come up with its own solution to tackle a skills shortage.

By Tom Patterson
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 2:07 pm

Paralloy, which manufacturers specialist high alloy steels, is inviting applications from 25 people at its Billingham foundry and a further 10 at its works in Middlesbrough.

Following a management buyout two years ago, its sales have more than doubled to £60m, the workforce has increased by 100 to 350 and it’s customers include Siemens, Rolls Royce, Exxon, Sabic and GE.

It exports 95% of what it makes to 70 overseas markets.

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Paul McEnaney

Paralloy, based in Macklin Avenue, is planning to launch a major apprenticeship programme but it is also targeting mature workers.

The move is in response to a major skills gap in the Tees Valley at a time when the demand for labour is increasing.

Chief executive Robert McGowan said: “We want people with a good work ethic who are willing to learn.

“It really doesn’t matter how old you are or what you’ve done before. Changing direction may just be the best decision you ever make.”

Phil Irvine.

Forty-six-year-old Paul McEnaney spent 20 years working in hospitality before he started working at Paralloy’s foundry as a shop floor operator on a short-term contract and is now foundry manager.

He added: “I was only planning to be here for six months but I’m very, very glad I did make that change.”

Another mature apprentice, Phil Irvine, a qualified motorcycle engineer who spent 30 years working as a doorman.

He said: “It’s the type of job you can only do for so long. I was getting older and it was time for a change.”

Three years ago when Phil was 55, he found out the company was recruiting.

He said: “I thought, surely they’re not taking on people my age but they were and I wish I’d done it sooner.”

Mr McGowan added: “My message is never stop learning. If you like making things as a hobby this might be the time to use that interest and skills in a new job. Having the right attitude and approach to work is the most important thing.”

For more details about Paralloy’s vacancies email [email protected] and visit its website www.paralloy.co.uk