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Welsh Secretary welcomes 300 new jobs as Sharp increases solar panel production at Wrexham

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan has welcomed the creation of 300 new jobs in North Wales as Sharp increases production of its world-leading solar…

Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan has welcomed the creation of 300 new jobs in North Wales as Sharp increases production of its world-leading solar panels at its factory near Wrexham.

Sharp announced today it will increase its workforce at Llay to 1,100 as part of a £30million expansion of the site. The investment will mean production capacity of photovoltaic panels will almost double, with an additional 3,000 panels able to be manufactured each day. A new training skills academy at the plant will also train up to 50 sonar panel installers each month.

Mrs Gillan said: “This is good news for north east Wales. Sharp’s decision to expand its production of photovoltaic panels at Llay is a huge vote of confidence in the skills and enthusiasm of the Welsh workforce.

“When I visited the Sharp plant at Llay last Summer I saw at first hand how the site had already been established as a centre of innovation and excellence for photovoltaic technology in Europe. Having discussed its potential I am pleased that today’s announcement will build on that reputation and allow more workers in North Wales to share in Sharp’s growth and success.

“The establishment of the onsite training academy is another example of how private sector employers such as Sharp are crucial in creating new jobs  and investing in providing skills for the local workforce.  Last week I saw how Toyota and Airbus were working in partnership with Deeside College to produce a quality skilled workforce for Wales. This tangible example of growth in the private sector is what Wales needs for future economic prosperity.”