New jobs at Burnley engineering firm

Futaba-Tenneco staff. (s)
Futaba-Tenneco staff. (s)
  • Liverpool Road firm taking on 20 to 25 workers in next month
  • Burnley firm actively going out looking for work
  • Workers and managers work together to weather tough economic times
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Automotive engineering giant Futaba-Tenneco has announced plans to expand its workforce.

The Liverpool Road firm is taking on between 20 and 25 workers in the next month as it looks to build on a promising a year

I think this is massive for Burnley. It’s continued employment and it can only be good for the town

Managing director Kevin Schofield

“Business is going well at the minute but it’s the automotive industry,” said managing director Kevin Schofield. “It’s up and down. It’ swings and roundabouts. Toyota are launching two new models, the new Auris and the new Avensis, and volume is going to be quite high on that for the rest of the year.

“What we’ve done over the past three years is we’ve actively gone out and looked for new business. So we were 100% Toyota, now we’re only 80% reliant on Toyota and we’re picking up new business up as we go along.”

These new full-time positions include general machine operators, fork lift truck drivers, material handlers and press operators and further expansion has not been ruled out.

“The number could grow but we’re not sure just yet,” said Mr Schofield. “We are doing well at the minute. We’re currently running two shifts and are now looking at setting up a skeleton night shift. But the 20 or so people we are taking on aren’t for nights.”

The appointments will take Futaba-Tenneco’s workforce up to around the 230 mark. The news is in stark contract to 2008, when workers were put on a four-day week as the threat of closure hung perilously over the firm following the economic crash.

“It has been difficult in recent times, especially from 2008 when the crash happened. We had to make some drastic cuts and it looked like the plant might have to shut but all the members stuck with the management team and we’ve turned it around, we’re busy again. We stick together, If we have to work short time we to it together.

“We’ve got £28m. worth of business with Toyota. When the old MD went back three years ago and I took over we started actively looking for new business, the 20% we have now. What we want to do is take our 80% reliance on Toyota down to 50% in the next five years. That’s what we’re hoping to do and that’s not going to be through reducing our work for Toyota. We’re going to maintain that.

“Hopefully that will mean more jobs as well. We’re actually a 400 strong plant. We have had 450 on site before.”

The firm has taken on three graduates in the past 18 months and currently has eight apprentices on site.

“It’s massive for growing the business. We haven’t got any manager on site that hasn’t been here for 10 - 15 years. We promote from within and we don’t have any turnover of staff. Everybody grows from within.

“I think this is massive for Burnley. It’s continued employment and it can only be good for the town.”

A series of open days are being held through Burnley recruitment firm Neville Gee and director Donnie Doran said it was a pleasure to work alongside one of the town’s key employers.

“Neville Gee has been the recruitment partner to Futaba-Tenneco for a number of years and we are delighted to be recruiting all their new employees to assist them in their expansion plans. As a key employer in the town, Futaba-Tenneco have always been committed to attract the brightest talent available to continue with their ongoing commitment to continuous improvement and the use of world class manufacturing tools and techniques.

“Neville Gee has successfully provided staff who have been able to absorb the excellent training provided by Futaba-Tenneco and this has enabled their business to improve their processes and reduce costs. Burnley has a wealth of talented people who ‘do world class manufacturing’ at every level. The Neville Gee and Futaba-Tenneco teams have worked closely for a number of years to enhance the prospects of success for both businesses, it’s a true partnership.

“Ultimately, it’s the people of Burnley that benefit, as they have an opportunity to work for an excellent business that offers a level of pay and other benefits that reflect this. If people would like to be considered for the opportunities that exist, please contact the team at Neville Gee in the first instance.”

Neville Gee can be contacted on 01282 430138.