Wrightbus workforce hits 1,000 three years after Bamford rescue

Ballymena bus builder Wrightbus is now employing one thousand people, three years on from being bought out of administration.

When businessman Jo Bamford rescued the firm in 2019 there were just 56 staff on the books.

The company, which is now a world leader in hydrogen technology, is planning to recruit a further 400 employees next year.

But Wrightbus says finding the right people with the right skills can be challenging.

"We're trying to attract skills from anywhere we can find," says CEO Buta Atwal.

"It's a good concern because we're growing. When your order bank is outstripping the pace of recruitment then that's your limiting factor."

Mr Atwal says the company has grown "exponentially year-on-year".

While the order books are healthy, there are concerns about the economic climate.

"One of the fears I have is that when we hit recessionary times governments tend to walk away from new technology and go back to the cheaper old technology," said Mr Atwal.

"One thing we're proving is our zero emission product is over a 15 year period more cost effective than old diesel technology."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.