Bus firm job boost as orders increase

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TWENTY-five new jobs have been created at a Scarborough company as it sees its order book grow by 50 per cent.

Bluebird Vehicles, based in Eastfield’s Plaxton Park, has announced the new vacancies as it looks to meet the massive growth in demand for its low-floor buses.

The company, which currently employs 80 people, is not only looking to increase is workforce to fuel the increase in orders, but is also employing more staff as a result of a new contract with neighbouring coach builder Plaxton.

The two firms have stuck up a deal which sees a key manufacturing process being subcontracted to Bluebird, to allow Plaxton staff to be redeployed elsewhere.

Bluebird managing director Rob Miller said: “2010 was a difficult year for us, especially around the general election as local authorities weren’t spending.

“However in the last quarter of the year things picked up and they were spending again so production started to increase.

“We now find that while the majority of our competitors are reducing staffing and cutting costs we are increasing our sales and production by 50 per cent.

“Plaxton are also looking to grow. With this new deal we will be a subcontractor for them, manufacturing the roof sections for their Enviro 200 to help them meet their increased production requests.

“With us doing that they can redeploy their staff to other parts of the production line.

“By working together we are keeping the jobs in Scarborough.”

Last year also saw Bluebird Vehicles launch a new minibus, the Orion, which seats 16 people and four wheelchair users. It is the largest minibus in Bluebird’s range.

Mr Miller said: “We have been out in the market selling hard and our order book reflects the sales effort and the quality of our product. We now need to ramp up our production to fulfil the orders and keep all of our new customers satisfied.”

Bosses at Bluebird say their ambition is to double sales to £20 million by 2012 and become one of the UK’s top five bus manufacturers.

On a recent visit to Bluebird Vehicles, Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill was delighted to hear of a local firm bucking the economic trend and hiring new staff.

He said: “This is very good news.

“Coming on top of the big news about the Potash mine we are seeing our traditional engineering skill-based businesses continuing to expand.

“This is exactly what the government are hoping, that as we make cuts in the public sector we are getting private sector jobs, especially in engineering and production which is where a lot of Scarborough’s skills lie.”

Recruitment for the 25 new employees at Bluebird begins immediately, with the company seeking people with a full range of skills from body building, production assembly and engineering skills.

Mr Miller added: “It is absolutely fantastic that we can add another 25 permanent staff to our current 80 and provide a secure future for all of our employees.

“The way things are expanding I won’t be surprised if I am here in six months, or a year’s time, saying we are taking on 25 more staff again due to some of the orders we have got in the pipeline.”