Bus maker Wrightbus to create 300 permanent jobs

With orders flowing in, the maker of electric and hydrogen double decker buses Wrightbus is on a roll.

Bus maker Wrightbus is to create 300 permanent jobs in Ballymena as it ramps up production in response to orders from Ireland and the UK.

Wrightbus is to convert 120 existing temporary roles into permanent roles.

“Our order book is looking very healthy with our zero emission buses in high demand”

The business was brought out of administration in October 2019 by JCB heir Jo Bamford when it had just 56 members of staff.

The latest recruitment drive will take the bus maker’s workforce to 930 people.

The new roles include skilled, semi-skilled and general operations and support staff.

World firsts

Wrightbus garnered international media attention when it revealed what it claims is the world’s first hydrogen-powered double decker bus. The company has also revealed what it claims is the world’s fastest-charging bus.

“It’s a fantastic success story, and not one many people would have imagined just a few short years ago,” said Wrightbus managing director 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.

“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,” Collins said.

In July it emerged that the National Transport Authority (NTA), working with Bus Éireann, has delivered three new hydrogen fuel cell double deck buses that will initially be used on commuter services in the Greater Dublin Area, Ireland.

The three WrightbusStreetdeck Hydrogen FCEVs have been purchased by the NTA to decarbonise its operations and have gone into service next week on Bus Éireann’s route 105X, which runs between Dublin and Ratoath, County Meath.

Bamford acknowledged that the past 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,” Bamford said.

Jobs on offer will include coachbuilders, welders, vehicle installation electricians, driveline operatives, factory operatives.

“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,” Bamford said.

John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.