A GROUP of “highly skilled” ex-Sealine workers have been employed at a West Midlands-based manufacturing firm.

Ex-boat builders Martin Silvers, Ray Wall – who is from Kidderminster – Nick Ball, Andy Chance and Martin Green, made redundant last year when Sealine made a shock announcement it had entered administration, have joined Auto Styling Truckman in Brierley Hill.

The appointment could boost the hopes of those still looking for work after more than 230 people lost their jobs in May last year, when Sealine was eventually sold to a pan-European investment company and subsequently closed, stunning the community. Since then the 260,000 sq ft site, which includes the factory, off Worcester Road, has since been sold.

Auto Styling Truckman is a UK manufacturer of hardtops for pick-up trucks, and the new recruits are working in the firm’s production facility in laminating and pattern-making roles.

Mike Wheeler, Auto Styling Truckman managing director, said: “I was delighted to welcome the staff to our growing team. They bring skills and competencies that will allow them to thrive in their new positions and have required a relatively small transition period because of their experience.

“It was very disappointing to see such a long-standing West Midlands manufacturer like Sealine go into administration. They have been at the heart of the local economy for nearly half a century and were one of Kidderminster’s biggest employers in recent years.

“We are happy to be able to offer the new opportunities to five highly skilled workers. We are passionate about keeping manufacturing skills in the West Midlands, an area with a long industrial history.”