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University helps people gear up for work

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Published on 21 November 2022

The Industry Centre, University of Sunderland
The Industry Centre, University of Sunderland

Job seekers in the north-east are being invited to a manufacturing recruitment fair, hosted by the University of Sunderland.

The North East Manufacturing Recruitment Fair will take place tomorrow (Thursday 24 November) at The Industry Centre, Sunderland Enterprise Park West, from 9:30am to 3:30pm.

Seven manufacturers who are actively recruiting for staff have already signed up to exhibit at the event, including a world-leading manufacturer of pharmaceutical products, a battery maker and a cryogenics specialist.

The University of Sunderland’s Uni4Talent and Graduate Internship Scheme programmes will also be exhibiting, as well as specialist North East recruitment agency KES Solutions UK and training provider MTC.

Hosted by the University’s Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing (SAM) Project, a £10.9million programme helping the region’s manufacturing businesses innovate and grow, the recruitment fair aims to help businesses overcome their recruitment challenges.

It will also seek to ensure attendees have the support and training required to land their desired roles, by hosting a series of free expert workshops covering everything from CV writing to interview techniques and finding career opportunities.

Roger O’Brien, Project and Technical Lead at the SAM Project, said: “Working with manufacturers to gear up for growth, we have witnessed first-hand just how much of an impact the UK’s labour shortage is having on the region’s manufacturers.

“Over the last 12 months, we’ve heard so many stories of companies being unable to go for new work or even turning work away due to a lack of staff, which given the current economic climate, is an absolute disaster.

“Here in the north-east, we are fortunate enough to be home to scores of world-leading manufacturers who are really blazing a trail in their industries, however none of those businesses would be where they are today were it not for the region’s incredibly skilled workforce.

“That’s why we decided to launch the Manufacturing Recruitment Fair, to bring together the companies eager to fill their roles with the job seekers actively seeking employment and to ensure those searching for work have the knowledge and skills to not only secure work, but to sustain it and build a career.

“I’d recommend anyone out of work or seeking a new challenge to pop along. Manufacturing is such an exciting industry to work in with real career progression opportunities so it should be a great day for all.”

The employers are also keen to speak to those who have either worked in manufacturing previously, or other industries with transferrable skills.

Houghton International, an engineering and manufacturing company based in Newcastle is one such company.

Employing over 120 people, the company is currently recruiting for a range of roles including mechanical fitters, winders, electrical fitters, pump fitters and general operatives.

Louise Costello, HR Manager at Houghton International, said: “As a growing business we are always on the lookout for talented people to join us. Houghton International operates across a wide range of essential sectors, ensuring we can offer stable, long-term job prospects across operational and central & support roles – something more important than ever in the current economic climate.

“Thank you to the SAM Project for organising and hosting what is sure to be a great event.  We are looking forward to attending and meeting potential candidates to be part of Houghton International’s future growth.”

The SAM Project is a collaboration between ERDF which has provided £5.77m funding (£2.6million from 2014-2020 and £3.1million from 2020-2023) and the University of Sunderland who are managing and, alongside industry, have invested £5.15m in delivery of this project.

The event is open for all so no registration is necessary. Manufacturers with jobs available are also invited to join the event and can register their interest by emailing: sam.project@sunderland.ac.uk