Firm weaves jobs magic

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a SUCCESSFUL mid-Derbyshire textile firm has been enjoying plans to recruit new staff despite other companies in the industry suffering a downturn.

Guilford Textiles Ltd, based in Somercotes, launched its second recruitment drive in a year at the end of 2010 and anticipates needing more employees in 2011 as one of the leading designers and manufacturers of textiles for the automotive industry.

Chris Isherwood, Guildford Textiles Company Director, said: “Many UK and even European textile companies cannot compete with low-cost manufacturing offered by China and the Far East, so with reduced orders and increasing financial pressures caused by the recession, many firms simply can’t survive.

“However, for the automotive industry this simply isn’t possible. The processes involved are extremely high specification and require rigorous in-house testing and the need for just-in-time delivery means they can’t wait for fulfilment from the Far East.”

Guilford recruited 35 new staff in June, after bringing its UK manufacturing under one roof in Derbyshire, and now boasts about 450 employees.

The company has also been enjoying a resurgence in the automotive industry and has introduced new machinery and a new process to produce an ultra-thin composite roof lining which has helped boost orders.

Plans for 13 new staff, announced last month, will help form a weekend shift and new recruits are expected to take on roles as knitters, warpers, weavers, loaders and quality inspectors.

Mr Isherwood added: “It’s an exciting time. We have strong order books and enquiries are growing daily.”

Guilford which was founded in 1946 exports more than 90per cent of its sales to Europe and also sells to north Africa, and with in-house training it is interested in workers with and without experience. Those interested can call (01773) 547200.