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Skills shortage "means Hitachi will recruit from Nissan"

A government advisor warned that a shortage of skilled workers in the North East of England means the train company Hitachi will have to recruit staff from nearby car manufacturer Nissan.

A Hitachi javelin train Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

The warning was issued by Jim O'Neill, a former senior banker who is now advising the government on how to grow the UK's cities.

Hitachi will create thousands of jobs at its factory in Newton Aycliffe. But there are fears that it will only be able to fill those vacancies by taking staff from the Nissan plant in Sunderland.

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Government blames local enterprise partnership for MPs row

The Government has said it was the responsibility of the North East local enterprise partnership to notify an MP of an official visit to his constituency.

Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson accused Stockton South's James Wharton of visiting Mr Wilson's constituency without informing him first. The Stockton South MP said he was only 'dropping off' Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis, and denies taking part in an official visit.

A spokesperson for the Department for Communities and Local Government said:

“The visit was hosted by the North East local enterprise partnership who secured £289.3million from the Government’s Local Growth Fund to support economic growth in the area.

“As part of organising that event the local enterprise partnership agreed to make all local MPs aware of the minister’s visit.”

– Spokesman, Department for Communities and Local Government

Hitachi site using 400 on-site workers a day

The construction of Hitachi's new train-building factory in County Durham has created more jobs that first expected.

Up to 400 workers a day have been employed on-site, rather than the anticipated 200. Most of them are from the North East. The factory, in Newton Aycliffe, is expected to open next year.

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Multi million factory taking shape in County Durham

Steel frame at Hitachi factory, Newton Aycliffe Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
Hitachi train manufacturing facility, Newton Aycliffe. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
Construction underway at Hitachi, Newton Aycliffe. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Hitachi is celebrating a milestone in the building of its rail vehicle manufacturing plant at Newton Aycliffe in County Durham.

The facility is expected to be finished in a year's time.

Today's (May 29) ceremony marked the erection of a steel frame on the site.

The plant will service as Hitachi's main European facility for train manufacturing and assembly.

The company chose the Newton Aycliffe site out of 42 contenders because of its transport links and skills in the local workforce.

Hitachi says it represents an £82 million investment in the region.

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