Van builders at Vauxhall’s Luton plant have been seconded to a medical products company to boost ventilator production for the NHS.
The manufacturer has provided 22 of its staff to the town’s Smiths Medical, which is significantly increasing production of the Smiths Group’s paraPAC plus ventilators.
The 20 assemblers plus a team leader and supervisor were chosen from Vauxhall’s Kimpton Road plant, which makes the Vivaro van, and were selected because of their specialist skills and ability to carry out intricate production work to a very high standard.
They will be working a three-shift, 40-hour-week framework – plus overtime if required – until July 31, conducting in-line quality testing as the ventilators are produced, with a stringent pass/fail safeguard in place.
Stephen Norman, managing director of Vauxhall Motors, said: ‘I’m immensely proud that Vauxhall workers have been able to make such a valuable contribution during these difficult times.
‘Our plant employees are used to working on lines where repeatable high quality is essential, and I’m confident that their skills will transfer exceptionally well to the production of much-needed ventilators for the NHS. Vauxhall will continue to work with the British government to support other similar initiatives.’
Julian Fagge, strategy and M&A director at Smiths Group, said: ‘On behalf of Smiths, I would like to extend our sincere thanks to Vauxhall for joining the fight against this terrible disease. This initiative is part of the extraordinary efforts being made by British industry to help maximise production of ventilators and save lives.’