Bloc Blinds seeks an extra 220 workers as it ramps up PPE production

Bloc Blinds' production line inside the Meadowbank Sports Arena in Magherafelt.
Ryan McAleer

SOUTH Derry manufacturing firm Bloc Blinds has said the massive upscaling of its personal protection equipment (PPE) production line has required another 220 people.

The Magherafelt firm said it needs additional workers in a bid to produce half a million face shields per day for health workers.

The company has already repurposed its factory on Station Road and turned Mid Ulster District Council’s Meadowbank Sports Arena into a PPE production line to help it adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Around 200 people had been employed across both sites to make the face shield products, but the increasing demand has required a significant expansion of the production line.

The South Derry blind maker last week announced a partnership with Finnish packaging giant Huhtamaki to make 13 million face shields for Health and Social Care NI’s business service organisation.

On Tuesday, it tasked recruitment firm Riada with sourcing an additional 220 people to help it meet the demand, which requires it to produce 500,000 face shields daily for the next 12 weeks.

Riada confirmed yesterday that 74 people had already been recruited in the first week. The recruiter said another 75 are expected to start over Monday and Tuesday.

A spokesperson for the recruitment firm said yesterday that the response had already been significant, and expressed gratitude for the patience shown by applicants.

“The response has been amazing - it is inspiring to see how many people want to help fight Covid-19. In the middle of these unprecedented times, we see how businesses and communities can come together to achieve the seemingly impossible and something unthinkable only just one month ago.

“The team at Riada are extremely proud of what our client Bloc Blinds have achieved so far and are delighted to be part of the drive to deliver PPE to the NHS and employment to Northern Ireland.

“We appreciate all your interest so far and would recommend you to register online at for any future job opportunities at Bloc Blinds.”

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