Supercar maker McLaren is hunting for tailors, dressmakers and boat builders as part of a recruitment drive to double the workforce at its new £50 million manufacturing site in Yorkshire.
The luxury car firm is searching for candidates with specific skills to help work with pioneering materials such as ultra-lightweight carbon fibre at its McLaren Composites Technology Centre (MCTC), which was launched a year ago to the day.
McLaren said the next phase of recruitment will see it almost triple the current team of up to 70 staff to over 200 by the time the site near Sheffield is in full production in early 2020.
It wants candidates with experience from a raft of sectors, from boat building to the textiles trade to sporting goods industries.
The positions also include apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships, it added.
McLaren said these specific skills are vital, because carbon fibre – which is used to build the chassis, or so-called tubs, at the core of its sports cars – starts life as a fabric.
It has to be cut, put into moulds and then treated before becoming a hard material for use in car manufacturing.
The workforce at its new site in Yorkshire will help make the next generation of McLaren carbon fibre tubs that will be sent to its main car production centre in Woking, Surrey.
It is hoped the use of these advanced lighter materials will help save vehicle weight – boosting performance, as well as allowing supercars to become more energy-efficient.
Mike Flewitt, chief executive of McLaren Automotive, said: “As we’re working with advanced, lightweight materials in new ways that have never been used before on this scale for car production, McLaren is looking for a range of skills you wouldn’t normally associate with the automotive industry.”
“The advanced technologies and processes they will be working on could one day be used in other industries to produce lighter, and therefore more efficient, vehicles, which will not only help McLaren to continue to innovate, but the UK to become a global leader in composite materials expertise,” he added.
The opening of the MCTC site a year ago was attended the by Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as well as Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince of Bahrain.
McLaren is hoping the site will help boost the local economy by £100 million by 2028, while also supporting skills development in the region.