A Rotorua export company’s surge in demand has pushed its backlog for one product out from 22 to 100 weeks as it desperately seeks more staff. Hayes International general manager Nick Looijen says business has been “just incredible” but it needs staff. Local businesses face a shortage of skilled labour with staffing a top concern. The export company has operated in Rotorua for more than 60 years manufacturing metalworking equipment, including roll-forming accessories and mill machines. Orders have increased by 70 per cent and the company’s annual turnover jumped to $24m with the same growth projected for the next financial year. Nick Looijen says the backlog for a simple corrugate roll-former had ballooned to two years from five weeks, due to demand from markets such as Australia and America. Hayes International employs 94 staff and needs another six including machinists, assembly fitters, service technicians and designers.
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