Following yesterday’s shock announcement that Britain’s biggest boatbuilder, Princess Yachts, is to axe 350 jobs at its Plymouth facilities comes the news today that Sunseeker, Princess’ main rival, has increased the number of skilled workers that it’s looking to recruit in 2016 from 100 to 225. The extra staff is needed, says Sunseeker, to support the introduction of several new models planned for the year ahead.

The new roles will be based at Sunseeker’s manufacturing operations in Dorset, covering construction trades including carpentry, plumbing and electrical, boatbuilding, plus engineering trades such as mechanical engineering, and composites – GRP laminating and GRP finishing.

“We have a clear and robust business plan to invest in long-term growth and sustainable success, backed by our majority shareholder Wanda Group whose stable ownership and strong financial backing enables us to plan and invest for the future,” says Sunseeker CEO Phil Popham. “Our forward order book for 2016 and beyond is looking very strong, currently up 55% over the same period last year.

“Expanding our highly skilled workforce is a key part of our planned investment,” he adds, “and with the introduction of a number of new boat lines in 2016 we are able to recruit 225 new skilled staff to support future growth.”

Popham says the recruitment drive will conclude in the first half of the year, bringing total employee numbers at Sunseeker to around 2,150.