Skilled staff help to resurrect top name
HIGHLY-SKILLED jobs are to be created after former employees of computer giant ICL resurrected its name in North Staffordshire.
International Computers Ltd, now part of Fujitsu, once employed 600 people in Kidsgrove, but the firm switched the base to Crewe in 2003.
Now Kevin Jones, who runs Manor PCs, has launched International Computer Logistics in the town.
He has invested around £230,000 in transforming a derelict former printers on Cedar Avenue into a state-of-the art base for repairing, refurbishing and recycling electronic devices.
ICL currently only employs a handful of people, but Mr Jones said it is aiming to take on more than 20 new recruits.
He said: "We are all former employees of ICL and we have very strong links with the old brand.
"Over the next five years we'll be creating 23 new, high quality jobs."
ICL was based in Kidsgrove for more than 40 years, and Mr Jones is keen to tap into the existing skill set.
He said: "There are lots of skills in the area, and when we set new employees on, it will be local people.
"We've had quite a lot of manufacturers get in touch with us, so hopefully there will be a big demand for our services."
Mr Jones, whose Manor PCs shops are in Hanley and Scholar Green, said ICL has already won retail customers including John Lewis and House of Fraser, as well as clients in financial services and manufacturing.
Manor retail manager, Paul Roberts, added: "We are aiming for sales of £8 million a year within three years, which is quite a big turnover. We have already secured two major contracts, so we will be servicing international contracts out of the unit in Kidsgrove."
Mr Jones said the firm has benefited from support and advice from a range of people in the region's business community, including North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce business engagement officer David Wellings, and Michelin Development director Mike Cole.
He said: "They have both been exceptional."
Mr Wellings said: "It's good to see an entrepreneur investing in the region and creating good jobs for the future.
"We've been very pleased to support Kevin."
Mr Cole added: "I have met Kevin on several occasion and his heart is very much in North Staffordshire and trying to create jobs for the local community.
"The other good thing about the new ICL is that it is regenerating a previously derelict building."
For more information on the latest job opportunities, visit www.icluk.co.uk.
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