NHS face mask contract creates 400 new jobs at Rotherham firm

Covid-19 News | Employment & Skills | Manufacturing | Yorkshire

UK online printing giant, Bluetree Group, has secured a contract to provide the NHS with a steady supply of Type IIR-medical grade face masks – one of the most sought-after masks in UK healthcare.

Bluetree Group – the first UK business to manufacture type IIR face masks – will produce 1.7 million masks per day, providing essential support to frontline health and care workers and contributing to the Government’s Make initiative.

Due to high production demand, the Yorkshire-based manufacturer is currently in the process of doubling its workforce, taking on 400 new employees.

Bluetree Group decided to diversify its business back in March following an appeal from the World Health Organisation (WHO), which called on the manufacturing industry to help increase face mask production by 40%.

From that moment on, the team then worked tirelessly to convert its operation, ensuring production met all the necessary medical guidelines and finalising the complex regulations for medical grade certification.

Adam Carnell, director at Bluetree Group, said: “This contract gives us the opportunity to help produce millions more much-needed surgical masks for NHS and frontline workers using our specialist machinery and team of skilled machine operators.

“This is a period of significant growth for Bluetree Group and we’re looking to recruit 400 people in total to help meet increased production demand. Roles we’re recruiting for include machine operators, engineers, lab technicians and logistics professionals. Our priority is ensuring those who need these items most get them, and we look forward to growing our exceptional team.”

Health Minister Jo Churchill said: “The response from Northern Powerhouse companies has been phenomenal and I can’t thank them enough for their commitment to the national drive.

“Every health and care worker must have access to PPE and through this national effort we are building more resilient, UK-based supply chains to guarantee an uninterrupted flow to the frontline.

“We have already struck deals with around 30 UK companies to manufacture PPE and over 100 suppliers to deliver items at scale and pace. We will continue to identify further opportunities to get more PPE to the frontline rapidly.”

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