Snorkel is hiring assembly workers and expanding its apprentice program at its Vigo Centre headquarters in Washington, Tyne & Wear, U.K., after a period of downsizing during the recession, the company said. The Vigo Centre factory exports more than 95 percent of its production to Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Pacific Rim. The facility is also Snorkel’s global headquarters, with satellite factories in the United States, China and New Zealand.
Snorkel is also expanding the workforce at its Elwood, Kan., production facility by 30 percent this year. The company received more than 150 job applications within a week of announcing its U.S. recruitment drive.
The company recently announced it was raising £12 million (almost U.S. $19 million) from investors to help increase production capacity in line with surging demand, its order book having grown 170 percent in recent months.
“After talking to our key customers, our build plan for 2012 calls for up to a 50-percent growth in our assembly workforce between now and September,” said Brendan Campbell, group operations director. “This will be a gradual process as we ramp up production in line with demand. Principally, we will be employing production operatives for our assembly lines, but we are also taking on three new apprentices as we build for the future.”
During the downturn, Snorkel worked on cross-training and raising the skill level of its Vigo assembly workers, launched new products and improved performance capabilities on its existing aerial inventory.
“Although we had to downsize during the recession, we stuck firmly to a strategy of keeping our core people and enhancing their skill sets,” added Campbell. “We are emerging from a tough, prolonged downturn as a much stronger, smarter company and now ready for the next growth phase.”
Snorkel is a trading division of the Tanfield Group, with international headquarters in the U.K., and U.S. headquarters in Elwood, Kan.