ONE of Northumberland’s largest employers has launched a major recruitment drive and is looking to fill 50 new vacancies.

It comes after a series of significant investments at Essity Prudhoe Mill.

Sales of toilet rolls and other tissue products made at the company have increased during Covid 19 due to a growing awareness of the need for good hygiene products and practices.

“We’ve been incredibly busy for the last 18 months,” said Essity HR manager Clare Stewart. “Thanks to our efforts in keeping the site Covid-secure, and the commitment of our employees in following the guidelines, production has been unaffected.

“Coupled with growing demand for our products, from supermarkets and other customers including the NHS, are significant financial investments made by the company.

“The resulting 50 vacancies for engineers, apprentices, graduates and operators will help us to future-proof the site and avoid the potential skills shortages facing many North-East manufacturers.”

Essity is exploring options for an on-site apprentice and training academy, and is working with local schools including SEN schools to support more diversity and inclusion. Attracting more young girls and women into engineering is also a challenge being tackled.

Current employees and apprentices manned a stand at the Hexham jobs fair that took place at Wentworth Leisure Centre yesterday (October 22).

The event – organised by Hexham Jobcentre and Hexham MP Guy Opperman – was sponsored by Essity as part of its new recruitment campaign.

MP Guy Opperman said: “As one of Northumberland’s largest manufacturing employers, I was delighted Essity agreed to sponsor this popular event – cancelled last year because of Covid.

“Essity is a global company making some of the UK’s best-known tissue products such as Cushelle, Plenty and Velvet – as well as vital paper products for the NHS – throughout the pandemic. It has a wide range of jobs available, and I am delighted they are both sponsoring and attending this year’s jobs fair."