Wrightbus creates hundreds of permanent jobs, and opens finance arm17 August 2021

Bus manufacturer Wrightbus is to create up to 300 permanent jobs after winning a string of orders from the UK and Ireland. It will also convert 120 existing temporary jobs into permanent positions as it looks to ramp up production at its Ballymena headquarters.

The firm, which was bought out of administration by green entrepreneur Jo Bamford in October 2019, had just 56 members of staff when he took over.

Now the firm is on track to have 930 permanent employees once the new positions have been filled. Wrightbus hopes the job roles, which will include skilled, semi-skilled, general operators and support staff, will all be filled in 2022.

Wrightbus MD Neil Collins said: “In the last two years, the company has not only been bought back from the brink, but has been reinvigorated and has seen a period of phenomenal growth. We’ve launched the world’s first hydrogen double decker, we’ve launched the fastest-charging double deck electric bus on the market and we’re now the UK’s only bus builder with both a hydrogen and electric product on the market.”

Jobs on offer will include coachbuilders, welders, vehicle installation electricians, driveline operatives, factory operatives.

In other news, the owner of Wrightbus, Jo Bamford, has launched FUZE, an asset finance company for funding its zero-emission buses.

The company is headed up by Ben Werth, who joins from Mistral Group Limited where he was group sales director.

He said: “There are many moving parts within the transition to net zero. To achieve this a collaborative partnership approach between manufacturers, funders and bus operators is required. FUZE, by being a specialised zero-emission focused asset finance company, is an integral part of this process.”

He added: “Working in collaboration with sister companies RYZE hydrogen and Wrightbus, we have developed a total cost of ownership model encompassing the infrastructure, vehicle, fuel and R & M fleet maintenance for the duration of the contract and then distilling this down into a single fixed monthly cost.”

The contract is available across the entire Wrightbus range of FCEV and BEV buses, single or double deck, over varying lengths of contracts dependent on the operators’ requirements.

It is supported by telematics system WB Uptime 365, which is said to give the operator real-time information and a 24-hour overview of the vehicle’s performance and uses AI to allow for predictive rather than reactive maintenance.

“The predictive nature of WB Uptime 365 enables FUZE to offer as part of its complete funding package R & M for the duration of the agreement,” Werth said.

Transport Engineer

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