A TRAILER FIRM has created 30 new jobs after setting up a new academy to train welders.

The training school at Ifor Williams Trailers was officially opened by Clwyd South AM Ken Skates, who is also the Welsh Government’s Economy and Transport Minister.

The company took the decision to train their own welders at a time when orders for their market-leading trailers are soaring.

The iconic Welsh brand was established in 1958 in Cynwyd, near Corwen, where it still has a factory.

The firm also has manufacturing sites in Corwen, Ruthin, Sandycroft and on Deeside Industrial Estate, where it employs a total of more than 500 people.

The 30 welding jobs are on top of the 100 posts created at the new £5 million Sandycroft factory which opened in November 2017 and as part of the company’s ongoing recruitment drive.

As well as having 50 UK trailer outlets, the company has an international network of distributors as far afield as Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Skates said: “Setting up the Weld Academy was a brilliant idea.

“Today I've learned that new welders can acquire all of the knowledge and skills required to then go on to the shop floor to build the trailers, to weld them together and to produce what are incredibly important high-quality goods in the international market.

“It’s music to my ears to hear about a world class company like Ifor Williams Trailers investing in training and development, making sure that the employees here are equipped with the skills that will make sure they stay here for a good length of time to come.

"Ifor Williams Trailers is a flag-carrier internationally for Wales, and for the UK it's got to be said. It's a jewel in the crown of the Welsh economy.

“I'm incredibly proud the company is based here in North Wales. It employs a huge number of loyal, dedicated, skilled people and it's an incredible success so we must never stop cheering."

Project manager Nick Backstrom, who runs the Weld Academy based at the Corwen factory, added: “This is all about getting the local workforce skilled in line with the bespoke needs of Ifor Williams Trailers.

“It’s an intensive course that can take someone from zero skills to being production-ready tailored to the needs of the business. They're putting in close to a 150 hours behind the mask before they're released."