THE north's largest motor retailer Charles Hurst says it wants to recruit 25 new technicians, mostly at its Boucher Road site in Belfast.
It is part of an initiative by its parent company Lookers to hire 100 permanent technician roles across its network of 152 dealerships in the UK and Ireland.
The recruitment drive will offer tech-savvy and innovatively-minded applicants a rewarding career at the forefront of the motor industry, offering a basic annual salary ranging from £26,000 to £34,000.
But the move will go only some way towards replacing the numbers of staff lost at Charles Hurst last year, when the pandemic first took hold and had a crippling impact on the motor trade.
In June 2020 Lookers shed around 1,500 of its 8,100-strong UK workforce and shut at least a dozen showrooms at struggling dealerships in a bid to reduce costs by £50 million a year.
That cull resulted in more than 100 jobs being axed in Belfast, most from its 20-acre Boucher Road complex, the largest automotive park in Europe, and which today has 900 employees.
Lookers' chief people officer Chris Whitaker said: “Investing in our future skilled and graduate talent is a key priority for us.
“We’re all about progression and providing career development opportunities, which is why we’ve revamped our training programme to incorporate additional modules, including a focus on electric vehicles to future-proof technicians for the electric vehicle revolution.”
Lookers says it is also committed to adding a further 180 apprenticeships across its network during this year – its largest ever apprenticeship intake.
Lookers’ chief operating officer Duncan McPhee added: “The UK motoring industry is at an exciting stage of growth and we’re experiencing a welcome surge in demand for both new and used vehicles, as well as increasing enquiries for next-generation electric vehicles, so the opportunities for skilled, experienced and graduate employees have never been greater.”