Belfast Telegraph

Engineering firm doubles its workforce for sales drive

By Amanda Ferguson

A co Down engineering firm is to double its workforce over the next two years, creating 28 jobs. Newtownards-based Kane Engineering is creating the posts as part of plans to drive sales across Britain and the Republic of Ireland.

It will be recruiting production operators, engineers, electricians and managers.

Kane Engineering designs and manufactures a wide range of low voltage switchgear distribution panels for use in large residential, commercial and industrial buildings to control, switching and distribution of power supplies.

Damien Kane, business development director at Kane Engineering, said demand for the company's products was driven primarily by construction activities.

"With the UK's construction sector returning to growth, we are forecasting that there'll be an increasing volume of work available to us moving forward," he said.

"Working in partnership with Invest NI has benefited us enormously, in particular with developing a longer-term strategic view of the business and implementing new processes to help us identify and grow our customer base.

"We want to position ourselves to take advantage of these opportunities and support from Invest NI is enabling us to quickly ramp up our manufacturing capabilities to cope with more orders.

"Recruitment for our 28 new staff is under way with five already in place."

Invest NI offered an employment grant of £156,800 to support the 28 new jobs.

Grainne McVeigh, Invest NI's director of electronics, said Kane Engineering has invested time and effort working with advisers to refine its processes which has resulted in sales growth and increased profitability.

"With increasing opportunities across the UK's construction market on the horizon, boosting the company's workforce will help reinforce Kane Engineering's competitive position to attract new customers," she said.

"With an average salary of £18,200, the 28 new jobs to be created will offer valuable employment opportunities for skilled workers in Newtownards and the wider Co Down area."

Stephen Kelly, chief executive of Manufacturing NI, welcomed the announcement.

"This is further evidence of Northern Ireland's engineering strength," he said.

"Kanes is a great company, creating great products with great people and selling them internationally. Northern Ireland has great engineering history and companies like this confirm we have a great engineering and manufacturing future."

Mr Kelly spoke of the importance of the continued support Invest NI provides to businesses here. "Invest NI continue to play a critical role in supporting our home-grown employers," he said.

"The focus for the future needs to remain on building strong local employers as well as recruiting foreign direct investment."

Belfast Telegraph

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