AN electric vehicle firm says it is committed to creating North-East jobs for the region's next generation.

Sevcon, in Gateshead, wants to take on local workers to help its global projects and capitalise on the improving Eurozone.

The company, which employs about 70 workers, designs and makes controllers for on and off-road vehicles, including Renault's two-seater Twizy quadricycle, as well as motorcycles, trucks, buses, fork-lift trucks and mining vehicles.

Bosses say they are experiencing strong demand for its hybrid electric vehicles and two-wheel scooters and motorcycles, and say they are now working on electric projects in Germany and a system to turn hydraulic systems into electric ones.

Earlier this year, The Northern Echo revealed Sevcon had brought workers from Colombia and Iran to the North-East to plug a skills shortage.

However, bosses said they are continuing to nurture students through bursary programmes to reverse the trend.

Matt Boyle, Sevcon president and chief executive, said: “We are very busy and are hiring people.

“That includes maintaining our programme of sponsoring students because we need more engineers to fuel our growth.

“We're also taking the engineering message to secondary school pupils and giving them an understanding of the industry so they can start thinking about careers.”

Mr Boyle was speaking after Sevcon revealed revenues had increased by more than ten per cent to £5.4m in the three months to the end of September.

It also recorded operating profits of £250,000, and expects to maintain its momentum, backed up by the construction industry's improvement and subsequent demand for its products that help power aerial lifts.

Mr Boyle added: “There is far greater stability in our markets than a year ago.

“While there is still some volatility, we are encouraged by what we are hearing from customers in both the off-road and on-road sectors.”