News for Tool Hire, Equipment Hire & Plant Hire and Rental Professionals

“Solid recovery” predicted

27 January 2021

“Solid recovery” predicted

Many hirers I speak to tell me they are experiencing delays in sourcing some equipment from their regular suppliers and being quoted long lead times.

It’s an understandable situation, given the surprising - but welcome - bounce back in many sectors of construction and the disruption to supply chains following the initial lockdown, as well as factors like the unpredictability of container shipments. 

So a very positive signal indeed is today’s announcement from JCB that it is recruiting more than 400 additional UK shop floor agency employees as it gears up for a surge in production.

The company says the market for construction equipment has rebounded sharply after the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which halted production at JCB factories around the world.

Employees are being sought for a variety of positions including assembly, welding and fork lift truck drivers. In addition, JCB is giving permanent contracts to up to 300 existing agency employees, including welders, fabricators and CNC machinists.

Last February, JCB reduced production levels and introduced a shorter working week at its UK factories due to anticipated component shortages from Chinese suppliers impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. And a month later it temporarily halted manufacture at its nine manufacturing plants in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham.

Chief Operating Officer Mark Turner said today: “In March 2020 our orders dramatically disappeared overnight when the Covid-19 pandemic took hold and while we were able to protect our shop floor workforce, regrettably many staff positions were impacted. It took more than six months for the business to recover to production levels we last saw in March 2020.

“This year has started strongly and our forecasts predict a continued solid recovery, with strong demand from mainland Europe and North America. This means we are now in a position to recruit many more shop floor colleagues and offer permanent JCB contracts to a large number of existing agency employees. After a tumultuous 12 months, this really is good news.”


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