Wrightbus is to create more than 40 new jobs at its Ballymena headquarters in Northern Ireland.

Wrightbus, which launched a zero-emission hydrogen double decker bus in 2020, has created the roles in preparation for increasing production of the vehicle this year and support British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson's pledge for at least 4,000 new zero emission buses to be produced during this parliament.

A recruitment drive will see it employ 46 new members of production and office staff, including coachbuilders, spray painters, welders, electrical engineers, technicians, accountants, sales staff and a project manager.

Some 19 of the positions will be apprenticeships, while an international project engineer role has also been created.

"There's no doubt 2020 was a challenging year for everyone for many reasons," said Wrightbus CEO, Jo Bamford. 

"We have made huge strides in 2020, despite the year being paralysed by the coronavirus pandemic, yet 2021 is going to be the year hydrogen really makes its mark.

"At Wrightbus we have already launched the world's first zero-emission hydrogen double decker bus and this year will see us deliver significant orders into London, Birmingham, Belfast and other cities across the UK, including in Northern Ireland.

"This recruitment will help us support the government's investment pledge for at least 4,000 zero emission buses on the streets of the UK.

"It's thanks to this and other orders already in the pipeline that we've been able to create these jobs. We're proud to be supporting the local economy and creating opportunities for young people thanks to the apprenticeships we've been able to offer."