CAT to create 300 jobs at UK backhoe factory

Aaron Morby 14 years ago
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Plant manufacturer Caterpillar is expanding the workforce at its Desford factory in Leicestershire.

The firm is taking on around 300 factory floor workers, increasing the workforce by a third to cope with rising worldwide demand for backhoes.

The move signals a turnround in fortunes at the plant driven by rising demand and a shift of production of fixed pivot backhoe loaders to the factory from the USA.

This brought a multi-million upgrade at the plant, which is now CAT’s leading backhoe manufacturing centre.

Last year saw hundreds of lay-offs and shopfloor staff working a three-day week. many worked for local charities for four weeks after production lines were put on hold.

Managers say the new investment secures the long-term future of the plant.

Backhoes, which will be designed and manufactured at the plant, will make up 80% of production  compared to just over half before.

General manager Robert Droogleever said: “We plan to take on another 300 jobs this year.

“About 80% will be on the shopfloor, with most being temporary. We aim to make many of them permanent next year.”

He said the remaining 20% of the workforce would be in administration and sales.

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