100 jobs on the way as Aker Solutions expand
AROUND 100 staff are expected to be recruited at Teesside engineering and construction contractor Aker Solutions as part of its continuing expansion.
The UK operation of the Norwegian giant has doubled its staff to more than 600 since it moved to a new base in Surtees Business Park in Stockton four years ago and is looking to grow further after winning a series of deals building power stations.
The Teesside operation, which also has offices in Whitehaven, said many of the new positions would initially be on a temporary basis, but with a view to making the jobs permanent.
Doug Gordon, vice president of finance for Europe, Middle East & Africa region, said: “The Stockton office has grown from about 300 to 600 staff and we are looking to add another 100 staff in the next 12 months.
“The variety of posts we have ranges from commercial and process engineers to planners and project controllers. We have about 24 different job types to fill.”
The company works in the power generation, nuclear decommissioning, water management, mining and metals, oil, gas and process sectors. It was supported in its move by a £1.4m Grant for Business investment from One North East.
Mr Gordon said: “I’m very clear that we would not be here in these new premises in Stockton if it were not for the support we have had from One North East. I attribute our success to our tremendously loyal and committed workforce, the vast majority of which are Teesside born, bred and educated.”
The firm aims to recruit so it can handle its expanding portfolio, which includes disposing of waste as nuclear power stations are decommissioned and work on water treatment plants.
It was one of around 35 firms which exhibited at Corus’ Teesside Cast Products plant this month as part of a two-day employment and training opportunities showcase attended by more than 1,030 Corus employees.
The company recently won a £115m energy contract with energy company RWE to provide design, supply, installation, construction and commissioning for Scotland’s biggest biomass power plant at the Tullis Russell Papermakers plant in Fife. It is also working on the £200m biomass power station being built by Gaia Power in Billingham.
Last month its Norwegian parent group posted revenues for the fourth quarter of 2009 down to £1.3bn from £1.67bn a year earlier, partly due to slower markets, although managers say it has a strong order book.
But Aker was back in the black in the fourth quarter with pre-tax profits of £69.9m compared to a loss of a loss of £50.5m for the same period in 2008.
Ian Williams, One North East director of business and industry, said Aker is “a shining example of how the North East can play home to internationally important firms.”