New JCB jobs during Osborne visit

image captionChancellor George Osborne was visiting JCB's Wrexham transmission plant for the jobs announcement

After shedding hundreds of jobs over the past few years, JCB has announced a major new order and plans to recruit again.

The company made the announcement as Chancellor George Osborne visited its Wrexham transmission site on Thursday.

The firm said it had secured a deal worth £14m to supply a fleet of 350 machines to companies across the UK.

It will hire up to 80 engineers at in Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Wales and 22 shopfloor posts in Wrexham.

Making the announcement, JCB chief executive Alan Blake explained: "JCB's recent success has been built on the drive to improve fuel efficiency.

"Central to that whole success is the overall efficiency of the machine and JCB Transmissions sits right at the heart of that with the development of its innovative range of transmissions.

"We are making huge investments in research and development at JCB Transmissions to ensure we continue to come up with innovative solutions in the drive for greater fuel efficiency."

The firm said it was looking to recruit engineers across the spectrum, from mechanical and electrical specialists to research engineers and apprentices.

The decision marks the end of a period where JCB had been forced to cut its workforce.

In November 2009 it blamed poor order books for axing almost 200 posts at its Rocester headquarters, at Rugley, Cheadle and Wrexham.

Thursday's announcement came as the company also revealed during Mr Osborne's visit that it has secured a new £14m contract for diggers.

Despite official figures published on Thursday revealing that manufacturing output in the UK dropped 0.1% in December, the chancellor said JCB showed that industry is improving in Wales.

"I think what we are starting to see is a manufacturing revival in Wales - and that is great," said Mr Osborne.

"Wales needs to make things again.

"Here in this plant in Wrexham, two or three years ago they were sacking people. Now they are starting to hire hire people. That's good news."

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