SUNDERLAND’S automotive jobs boom continues today, with nearly 150 new posts announced at a car parts firm.
Calsonic Kansei is to create 145 new jobs and expand its product range with a £15.3million investment.
The news comes just a day after Nissan revealed it is to build another new model at its Wearside plant from 2014, creating more than 200 jobs at the plant and up to 900 in the supply chain.
Announcing the investment on his tour of Japan, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “This new multi-million investment from Calsonic Kansei into their Sunderland plant is great news for the local economy, creating 145 new jobs in Sunderland and reflecting the city’s expertise in the automotive sector.
“It’s a vote of confidence in British manufacturing and in the skills, flexibility and commitment of the local workforce.”
Washington and Sunderland West MP Sharon Hodgson added: “The investment in Calsonic Kansei is yet more good news for motor manufacturing in Sunderland and a further endorsement of the quality of local workmanship by multinational companies.
“I hope the new products which are developed as a result of this investment, will continue to help the company play a key role in the continuing success of the Nissan factory and provide good, quality employment and training opportunities for my constituents for years to come.”
Sunderland City Council leader Coun Paul Watson also welcomed the news about Calsonic, which has factories in Sunderland and Washington.
He said: “We worked very closely with Calsonic Kansei to work up these proposals and we’re delighted to see this go ahead, creating a further 145 news jobs in Sunderland and the £15million investment that goes with it.
“It’s yet more good news on the jobs front for Sunderland after the recent announcements by Nissan, Vantec and SNOP.”
Nissan’s decision to build its new hatchback in Sunderland was a massive vote of confidence in the North East, the region’s Conservative MEP Martin Callanan.
He said: “Nissan’s executives know the high technical standards which their workforce in the North East deliver. They also know they have a robust and reliable supply chain in the region, staffed by highly-skilled and dedicated workers.
“The region will greatly welcome these new jobs and it has won them on merit. The skills and the work ethic of the North East workforce are second to none, and this decision by Nissan is welcome confirmation of that fact.
“This region has backed the Nissan project here from the start and that faith and commitment is being recognised.”
Engineering and manufacturing skills organisation Semta said the decision should act as a catalyst in encouraging smaller firms in the region to invest in apprentices.
UK operations director Lynn Tomkins said: “Everyone involved in the two recent Nissan announcements deserves a tremendous amount of credit. It is good news not only for the car plant but the wider advanced manufacturing community.