Staycation demand fuels jobs boom at holiday homes manufacturer

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Holiday home maker Willerby has launched a major recruitment drive as it increases production to meet surging demand.

The company is hiring over 100 staff to work on a new production line at its Hull headquarters as the industry benefits from a staycation boom.

Willerby says its order book is already full until mid-2022, with demand particularly strong for premium holiday home models.

It comes as more people look to enjoy short breaks in the UK, rather than longer foreign travel, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new production line will be dedicated to meeting the demand for prestige holiday homes and a full range of production roles, including craftspeople, are now being advertised.

The recruitment drive will take Willerby’s workforce to more than 1,100, which includes almost 100 workers hired since November as part of its ongoing growth.

Training for the new positions, which include electricians, plumbers, cabinet makers, labourers and other roles, will begin in May, ahead of the production line opening at the start of July.

Willerby currently has the capacity to produce up to 7,500 holiday homes, lodges and residential park homes across its existing four production lines annually.

The opening of the fifth line, which will be housed in a 17,000 sq ft building previously used to store materials, fixtures and fittings, will add another 600 units to its annual production capacity.

The expansion comes as the company celebrates its 75th anniversary year.

CEO Peter Munk said: “The COVID pandemic has resulted in a boom in staycations and an unprecedented demand for high-quality holiday homes, which is reflected in our order book.

“We believe this impact will be over the long-term and that has given us the confidence to open this new production line and recruit 100 new employees in the latest stage of our continued growth.

“It will significantly increase our capacity to produce premium holiday homes and create much-needed jobs in the local area during what remains a very difficult period for many people.

“It is particularly pleasing that, as we celebrate our landmark anniversary and reflect on our proud heritage, we can also to look forward to a very bright future.”

The business has already extended one of its production line buildings to ensure social distancing while increasing its workforce and has put in place extensive COVID protocols to ensure safe working conditions.

Twice weekly on-site COVID testing is being carried out for all staff under the Government-supported scheme for large employers.