New jobs for old skills at park homes firm
Fifty new jobs created by a Northants homes manufacturer include many which will keep alive traditional artisan skills – and put them to use in a high-tech industry.
Fast-growing Prestige & Homeseeker is recruiting extra staff across all areas of its business, including new positions at the company’s recently expanded Rushden plant.
It’s here that skilled local workers hand-make the timber trusses for the park homes and holiday lodges sold by the company across the UK and overseas.
Although the firm uses many different modern high-performance materials in its homes, director Debbie Foulke says timber can’t be beaten as the principal roof support material.
Until recently, Prestige and Homeseeker bought the trusses ready-made – but now an expansion of its 50,000 sq ft Rushden site allows them to be made from scratch.
The process, says Debbie, requires the use of age-old woodworking skills and joinery tools.
The extra staff taken on so far – with the prospect of more jobs in the pipeline – include both experienced local craftsmen, and younger recruits who will receive full training.
Prestige & Homeseeker, which employs over 360 people in total, is one of the park industry’s largest manufacturers of residential homes and holiday lodges.
This year, the company is marking its 25th anniversary, and demand continues to rise says Debbie:
“Our main customers are the operators of holiday parks which sell or rent our products for leisure use, and residential parks where more mature people live permanently,” she said.
“We make homes for both purposes, and have achieved a reputation for high manufacturing standards as well as modern architectural design and luxurious interiors.
“Customers who come to our open days and showground are often surprised at the traditional craftsmanship which goes into every stage of our processes – and that’s something of which we’re very proud.
“We’re also delighted at being able to provide jobs for people with these skills, and to help ensure they are being passed on to a new generation,” added Debbie.
The timber used in the trusses, she said, is all from sustainable sources in keeping with the company’s policy of majoring on environmentally-friendly materials.