Far-sighted firm has to close job applications early

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A GLOBAL contact lens manufacturer has been forced to close its recruitment drive early after being inundated with applicants.

CooperVision advertised for 200 new members of staff to support the growing business and to rebalance temporary staff packages.

The firm has a base in Hamble, while the European headquarters of its parent company, The Cooper Companies, is based at Segensworth near Fareham.

More than 1,000 people applied for the 200 jobs, most of which will be based in Hamble.

Kevin Barrett, managing director for the UK manufacturing arm of CooperVision, said: ‘The unprecedented response we have received clearly demonstrates how important an employer CooperVision is to the local area and these additional staff members will be key to supporting our growth going forwards.’

CooperVision currently employs more than 2,000 people in Hampshire, across manufacturing and support areas, including HR, sales and marketing, customer service and supply chain management.

The new jobs will focus on production operators, technical operations staff and team leaders at its Hamble facilities.

There will also be appointments made in wider business support areas.

CooperVision manufactures more than one million soft contact lenses a day in the UK.

The company is predicting a year-on-year capacity increase in excess of 15 per cent for the 2011 financial year, due to the introduction of new products.

Mr Barrett added: ‘We are predicting a significant growth in capacity for next year which is driven by demand in the marketplace.’