DIGGER giant JCB is looking to recruit 400 new engineers over the next three years in the UK as it celebrates its best first quarter sales in its 65- year history.
The ‘vast majority’ of the engineer posts will be at its Staffordshire factories, mainly at its Rocester headquarters.
News of the sales figures for the first quarter of the year — January to March 2011 — completes a remarkable turnaround for JCB after it had to shed thousands of jobs during the recession and the collapse in the construction industry.
The company have also stated that the signs for the rest of the year are also highly promising for the firm who have been driven by massive growth in its overseas markets.
JCB chief executive Alan Blake (pictured above) said the sales figures and the job boost in Staffordshire was ‘great news’ for the county.
He said: “JCB has just enjoyed its best first quarter sales in its 65 year history and, while we have to maintain a degree of caution, all the signs are good for the rest of the year.
“Much of the growth we are seeing is coming from Brazil, India and Russia but even in the UK the markets are much improved.
“Our success is built on giving our customers the most innovative machines in the industry backed up by the best global service support around.
“We need to continue to drive the business forward which is why during the next three years we will be recruiting around 400 additional engineers to add to our very talented team.
“All these jobs will be in the UK with the vast majority being in Staffordshire, which is great news for the county which has been our manufacturing base for the past 65 years.” The company also confirmed that 75 of the 400 positions are available immediately.
JCB has spoken recently about its problems of recruiting engineers in the UK due to a shortage of the right candidates.
Speaking at a Commons committee hearing at Westminster David Bell, chief corporate development officer at JCB, said the firm had been a ‘victim’ of an education system which provided potential employees with ‘rubbish’ qualifications.
He even suggested that JCB may look to move some of the highly-skilled engineering jobs to India or China, although this latest announcement seems to suggest otherwise.