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FAST-GROWING electric vehicle innovator Sevcon is launching the first phase of its ambitious recruitment drive – which will eventually see it boost staff numbers by 200 over the next three years.

The company, which currently employs 80 skilled engineering staff in the Team Valley, says it is looking to initially boost headcount by 20 over the next few months.

It is currently in the market for skilled engineers and is looking to recruit over a dozen new engineering technicians and test engineers, primarily from the North East market.

This recruitment drive follows the announcement of a series of major orders, with a total contract value of £320m. This stellar growth projection will also see it move to larger premises close to its existing Team Valley home.

Louise Morshead, Human Resources Manager at Sevcon, said: “These are exciting times for the business and we are keen to hear from ambitious technicians and test engineers looking to take the next step in their career.

“Sevcon believes that a skilled, enthusiastic and driven workforce are the key to taking on the challenges to develop state of the art technology for the modern world of environmentally friendly vehicles.

“The business is growing quickly with many major motor manufacturers turning to Sevcon to support the switch from traditional petrol and diesel vehicles to next generation electric and hybrid vehicles.

“Sevcon has strong roots in the North East and is very keen to invest in and nurture local talent. In particular, we’re looking for male and female technicians and engineers wanting to make their mark in the world.”

Sevcon technicians and test engineers participate in software, hardware and mechanical product assembly, troubleshooting and testing, as well as the construction, maintenance and calibration of test equipment.

Mrs Morshead added: “We are looking for skilled people to come and join us and be part of a successful and fast-growing business.

“Sevcon is a progressive and dynamic company; one which marries the needs of the business with the career ambitions of our staff.

“We strive to create a culture which allows and actively supports our staff to explore and achieve their full potential as people and employees.”

Sevcon is also keen to hear from youngsters, male and female, looking to join as apprentices and those seeking to go to university. The latter may be able to participate in the company’s bursary scheme which covers the cost of tuition fees for approved courses at Newcastle and Northumbria Universities.

The company designs and manufactures controllers for electric and hybrid vehicles. It has been based on the Team Valley for over 50 years and posted record sales of £40m in 2016, up from £33m in 2015.

Earlier this year it revealed it had signed a deal for the development of an electric drivetrain for a Chinese/European car maker worth up to £160m.

The latest deal is the sixth major project in Sevcon’s £320m development pipeline.  Two of the projects, worth over £56m, are with a British supercar company.

By the autumn the company hopes to move to new 55,000 sq ft premises to the rear of Gateshead College’s Skills Academy for Construction on Kingsway, Team Valley.