Flexible workers win more jobs

An Austrian engineering firm is creating 140 jobs in South Yorkshire after choosing the area as the base for its new UK subsidiary. Ferro-Montagetechnik (FMT) took on 26 staff at North Anston near Rotherham in November last year, then decided to expand after being impressed with the flexibility of the local workforce. The company, which […]

An Austrian engineering firm is creating 140 jobs in South Yorkshire after choosing the area as the base for its new UK subsidiary.

Ferro-Montagetechnik (FMT) took on 26 staff at North Anston near Rotherham in November last year, then decided to expand after being impressed with the flexibility of the local workforce.

The company, which employs 600 staff in Europe and South America, installs machinery and plant equipment for the chemical, printing, manufacturing and power generation industries. It has an annual turnover of £60m. The new Yorkshire site is expected to contribute a further £2m per year.

Albert Thompson, FMT’s UK general manager, said the company was already growing beyond its original expectations. ‘We are undertaking contracts throughout the UK and are bidding for several more,’ he said.

The company was helped in its choice of site by the Yorkshire and Humberside Development Agency (YHDA) and the Rotherham Industrial Development Office (RIDO).

FMT had looked at locations in the Manchester and Humber areas, but chose the Rotherham site because of the availability of an experienced and highly skilled engineering workforce.

John Siddall, chief executive of the YHDA, revealed that FMT’s investment in the region was almost £100,000.

‘FMT UK is providing well-paid and highly skilled engineering jobs in one of the region’s industrial heartlands, which has been so badly hit by the economic changes of recent years,’ Siddall said.

‘The YHDA pressed the right buttons at the right time and supplied all the relevant information. There will be constant job creation as the company responds to business generation from its parent company.’

FMT’s recruitment drive comes at a time of continuing manufacturing job losses in the region, which has also been hit hard by the decline of the coal industry.

Latest figures from the Engineering Employers’ Federation Sheffield Association show that job cuts are likely to continue until the end of the year.

John Robinson writes for Personnel Today magazine