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Huddersfield company can't find the staff to make its specialist mountaineering shirts

Slaithwaite-based McNair is appealing for skilled machinists to come forward

Huddersfield should be in the perfect place to recruit workers in the textile trade.

But when it comes to finding highly skilled machinists to work on its specialist mountaineering shirts, Slaithwaite -based McNair Designs is finding itself stitched up.

Its Mountain Shirt range, made from merino wool and carefully processed to improve thermal efficiency and weather resistance, has developed a cult following, particularly in the Alps and north America.

The company wants to expand its range to meet demand and needs to take on extra staff.

But despite holding regular recruitment drives over the last two years it has been unable to find the highly skilled machinists which it needs.

McNair Designs Ltd. of Slaithwaite, poster.

It set itself up in Huddersfield because the town is world renowned for its woollen industry and all the work to the fabric including the weaving, milling, raising and steaming is done within 10 miles of its base.

Director Natalie Stapleton said: “We are looking for people with tailoring skills, maybe older people who worked in tailored garments who have a high skill set and are passionate about what they do.

“The area has huge expertise in fabric manufacture and that is why we set up in Huddersfield.

“Despite having been on a continuous recruitment drive over the last couple of years we have had huge difficulty in expanding our team through the traditional recruitment process.

“We completely understand that there will be machinists in the Huddersfield area with possibly decades of experience, but unfortunately in more recent years they have changed career path as the factories have closed.

“We would now like to make an appeal to these skilled machinists with industrial garment making experience to get in touch.”

Jenny Jones of Great Britain

The specialist shirts sell for between £335 and £375 and have been endorsed by a number of athletes, including British Olympic snowboarder Jenny Jones and sports presenters Ed Leigh and Austin Healey.

Natalie said: “Our shirts are challenging and interesting to make – we are not talking about working on one repetitive task all day on one machine but being involved in the entire production from start to finish.

“We are also very eager for experienced tailors to get in touch who can offer anything from a few hours pattern work to full-time employment with equity in our company. We are a small and friendly team and care deeply about what we do.”

McNair is looking for two full-time and three part-time staff, and would be flexible about job sharing. Anyone interested should ring the company on 01484 846666.

McNair Designs Ltd. of Slaithwaite, struggling to kind skilled staff - Machinist Alison Gorrod at work.



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