As a two-year-old in the 1980s, Chris Pickbourne donned a set of specially-made overalls to star in a recruitment campaign for the-then fledgling Nissan plant’s rapidly-growing operations in the UK.
A quarter-century later, Chris not only works at the Nissan plant, but is again appearing in front of the camera to promote job opportunities at the Wearside factory.
The young Chris starred in the 1987 promotion inviting applicants to join “Britain’s most successful two-year-old”, after being volunteered by his mother Wendy, a Nissan finance team member.
He returned to the factory in 2012 to start work as a member of the maintenance team.
He said: “The factory was under construction when I was born and it’s amazing to think how the company has grown during my lifetime.
“I’ve always had an interest in Nissan’s success and knowing what an exciting period it was for the company, the job security and the benefits offered, it was a great time to join the maintenance department.
“It’s a very challenging and rewarding environment and we’re all very much looking forward to seeing the new models in production.” Wendy, 56, who has been at Nissan for 26 years, said: “When I took Chris to the shoot there were a few volunteers, but he was the only one that would sit still for the photographer.
“I’m a very proud mother and have had many happy years at Nissan, so I was delighted when he returned home to join me at the plant.”
At the time of Chris’s first adverts, Nissan made just one model in Sunderland, the Bluebird, and the plant’s 1,100 staff turned out fewer than 30,000 cars a year.
Now more than 6,000 people work there and it makes more than 500,000 cars annually.
Nissan currently has vacancies for product and process development engineers, facility engineers, maintenance engineers, quality assurance engineers and electrical and mechanical maintenance technicians.
Personnel director Greg Penn said: “Chris is one of more than 600 extra staff we have hired over the past two years to support record production levels and new model preparations.
“We are actively recruiting for experienced professional people across our engineering and maintenance departments, so I’d encourage anyone interested in Nissan to visit our recruitment website, and find out why more than one in three British cars is now built in Sunderland.”
Anyone interested in applying for a job at Nissan should visit the website www.careersatnissan.co.uk for more information.
… it’s amazing to think how the company has grown during my lifetime