Wrightbus to hire 46 more staff to help meet zero emission buses target

Last month saw the launch at Stormont of three hydrogen double decker buses which are due to enter service in Northern Ireland soon. The buses are being built by Wrightbus, which is recruiting 46 new staff
Gary McDonald Business Editor

BALLYMENA manufacturer Wrightbus is recruiting 46 new staff from apprenticeship to managerial level as it looks to support the UK government's pledge to build 4,000 zero emission buses in the current parliamentary term.

It wants to hire coach-builders, spray painters, welders, electrical engineers, technicians, accountants, sales staff and a project manager.

Nineteen of the positions will be apprenticeships, and an international project engineer role has also been created as the firm looks to increase sales around the world.

It comes after the firm laid off 125 workers last May, made up is 35 permanent staff and 90 agency workers, and will take the total payroll back to around 500.

Last year Wrightbus launched the world's first zero-emission hydrogen double decker bus, and chief executive Jo Bamford said the new jobs would allow production to keep up with demand.

He said: “Last year was challenging for many reasons, but we made huge strides, and 2021 will be the year hydrogen really makes its mark.

“This year will see us deliver significant orders into London, Birmingham, Belfast and other cities across the UK, including in Northern Ireland.

“This recruitment will help us support the government's investment pledge for at least 4,000 zero emission buses on the streets of the UK.”

The hydrogen double deckers created an impact across the UK last year when they were first launched in Aberdeen in October, and Belfast then followed in December after the Department for Infrastructure allocated £66m for the purchase of 145 zero and low emission buses for the Translink fleet.

Speaking at that launch, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said: “Cleaner, greener, sustainable transport is key to protecting our environment and fighting the climate crisis. These new buses will be transformative for communities here as we seek to deliver more sustainable low carbon public transport.”

Mr Bamford added: “Hydrogen's time is now, and Wrightbus is excited to be at the vanguard of this revolution.”

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