Could the arrival of good news be a bit like buses?
At UK bus manufacturer Wrightbus it certainly seems like it.
Last week saw the announcement of 300 permanent jobs being created at Wrightbus, the long-awaited release of the government’s Hydrogen Strategy (which should, in theory, support the speedier roll-out of Wrightbus zero-emission Hydrogen buses), and a current figure on the realtime data clock of over 600 tonnes of harmful CO2 emissions being saved, thanks to their zero-emission hydrogen buses currently in operation across the UK.
When Wrightbus was bought out of administration by Ryze Hydrogen founder and green entrepreneur Jo Bamford in October 2019, the company had just 56 members of staff, now it’s close to 1,000.
Thanks to an incredible period of growth driven by the development of word-leading technology – including the creation of the world’s first hydrogen double decker bus, and a market-leading electric double decker bus – 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.
It’s the powerful combination of Wrightbus emissions-lowering technology already in operation nationwide, coupled with the subsequent creation of so many new jobs, that makes the company such a glittering example of the slogan ‘Green Recovery’.
#ClimateAction is another popular phrase the company can lay claim to…
“It’s a fantastic success story, and not one many people would have imagined just a few short years ago,” said Wrightbus MD Neil Collins.
“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.
“Our order book is looking very healthy with our zero emission buses in high demand, and we have multiple conversations ongoing with a number of bus operators from across the UK and Ireland. And let’s not forget that this has all been achieved despite the terrible effects of the global pandemic over the past 18 months.”
Mr Collins said employees joining the firm would get the chance to be involved with world-leading technology and systems that were at the forefront of revolutionising the transport industry.
“Our zero emission buses are truly world-leading and we’re incredibly proud of the part they’re playing in the UK’s race to net zero. The fact that our employees get to play their part in this effort makes them incredibly proud, not to mention the fact that they are developing and working with the technology of the future.
As of August 20th, the first 33 Wrightbus Hydrogen buses operating in cities across the UK have already saved over 600 tonnes of harmful CO2 emissions from being pumped into the UK atmosphere, as would have happened had they been diesel buses. Imagine the CO2 savings that would be saved by having 3,000 hydrogen buses in operation. And that’s only 10% of the entire UK bus fleet.
“We’re building an incredible team in Ballymena and we want the best people to come and work for us. We’re aiming to increase bus production again next year, which will in turn lead to the creation of even more permanent jobs. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be involved with Wrightbus.
“We’ve got a strong future ahead of us and we’re proud to be playing an important part in the wider post-Covid recovery of the Northern Irish economy,” Mr Collins added.
One new innovation in customer assistance is the Wrightbus service WB Uptime 365. Equipped with live GPS tracking & vehicle analysis, the telematics system keeps bus fleets at peak performance and offers a clearer understanding of their operation and availability.
Importantly WB Uptime 365 also brings customers up to date with real-time performance and CO2 savings information. The timing of this crucial data providing service, unique in the bus manufacturing market, could not be better, since every business and council now has to put ESG front and centre of its operations.
Jo Bamford, who has been the driving force behind the change in fortunes at Wrightbus since buying the business, said: “The last two years have not been easy. We’ve not only had to pull the company back from administration, but we’ve also had to get through unprecedented times due to the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic.
“Introducing two new world-leading products in the Hydroliner and the Electroliner, and being able to bring the workforce up from just 56 people to more than 900 in those two short years is incredibly satisfying, and shows the marked determination that we all have to make sure this business is a world-leading success.
“We’re continuing to invest not only in employees, but in the technological advances that will keep our buses at the very pinnacle of the industry. I’m proud to say Wrightbus is firmly back in business, creating jobs not just in Northern Ireland but indirectly across the UK – and this is only the start of the recovery.”
Jobs on offer will include coachbuilders, welders, vehicle installation electricians, driveline operatives, factory operatives.
All jobs will be advertised on the Wrightbus website. For more information and to apply, visit the Careers page at www.wrightbus.com.
For more about Ryze Hydrogen click here.