Wanted: Boat builders and textiles experts

Louise Smyth

British luxury supercar maker McLaren is on the hunt for some unexpected recruits for its new £50m innovation and manufacturing facility in Yorkshire in the North of England.

Applicants with experience in a wide variety of sectors from boat-building to the textiles trade and sporting goods industries are being encouraged to apply for the next wave of jobs, apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships that will help double the workforce at the McLaren Composites Technology Centre (MCTC) to over 200 by the time it is in full production next year.

Those skills are required because materials like carbon fibre start life as a fabric that has to be cut, put into moulds before being treated through a variety of processes before becoming a hard material.

The MCTC aims to be a world-leader in innovating lightweight composite materials.

Lighter, composite materials, together with future powertrain technology, will save vehicle weight, boost performance and provide more energy-efficient supercars.

McLaren has been a pioneer with ultra-lightweight, ultra-strong carbon fibre material for decades and builds every car with a carbon fibre chassis, or ‘tub’, at its core.

The new roles that are set to be phased in next year will all help to make the next generation of McLaren carbon fibre tubs that will then be sent to the company’s McLaren Production Centre, around 170 miles away in Woking, Surrey.

There the rest of the cars - including powertrain, gearbox, body panels, electrical systems, wheels and Pirelli tyres - will be added by hand before being exported to over 32 territories around the world.

McLaren’s ability to tap into the Sheffield region’s extensive materials expertise, skills and universities will help it to innovate quickly and continue to be the lightest in their class.

The target is that the MCTC will deliver £100m of gross value-added benefit to the local economy by 2028 as well as supporting skills development in the region.

Well over 90 per cent of just over 4,800 cars made last year by the firm were exported meaning the new Yorkshire recruits will get to work on some of the most advanced and admired cars in the world.

Take a peek at one of McLaren's future supercars here.

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