Steel jobs created as part of new armoured vehicle production

Boxer ambulance vehicle

A multimillion-pound order for armoured steel linked to production of a new military vehicle will create more than 40 roles.

Stockport engineering group WFEL and its parent company, KMW, have awarded the multi-year armoured steel contract to Rotheram-based MTL Advanced.

WFEL is building the UK Ministry of Defence Boxer Armoured Vehicle. The armoured material will be used in the Boxer vehicle hull assembly, which will be fabricated at WFEL’s specialist manufacturing centre of excellence in Stockport.

MTL Advanced has invested in excess of £2m in new capital equipment to help support this project and meet increased demand.

The new investments have been spread around the various manufacturing cells of the Rotherham business, to provide an enhancement in capacity, in line with the production schedules for the UK Boxer vehicles contract.

In a boost to the local community, this contract award has contributed to the creation of 30 jobs at MTL Advanced, which has also welcomed 12 new apprentices to its engineering and welding apprentice academy.

MTL Advanced says that investing in the next generation of talented engineers is critical to its ongoing success. The company has also recruited an additional four young job seekers as part of the nationwide KickStart campaign and new graduate schemes have also been brought forward, to upskill the firm’s staff and provide them with further education and career progression opportunities.

Karl Stewart, MTL Advanced general manager, said: “We are really excited to have been awarded this major contract, which will give us the opportunity to work in partnership with WFEL and KMW on such an important UK defence project.

“We look forward to engaging closely with WFEL and KMW’s engineering teams and leveraging our armour manufacturing expertise to help make this Boxer vehicle programme a great success for the British Army.”

Mr Stewart added: “As a company located at the heart of the Sheffield-Rotherham Advanced Manufacturing corridor, the region that was the cradle of the industrial revolution, we are immensely proud to be able to bring such a prestigious multi-year contract to Rotherham for the benefit of our local community.”

This is the latest sub-contract to be awarded by WFEL, a key partner in the manufacture of the Boxer armoured vehicles for the British Army, under the £1.7bn contract signed in November 2019 between ARTEC and the UK MoD.