A MERGER between two East Lancashire recruitment specialists is set to shake up the engineering jobs market.

Bosses at M65 Recruitment, in Blackburn, and Burnley's Jobsearch, are uniting behind the same banner.

And Mark Wiggan, managing director of newly-formed M65 Jobsearch, is confident they can take on all-comers along the motorway corridor.

He said: "When we saw the potential service we could provide to both candidates and businesses by bringing the two companies together, it was an easy decision to make.

"Both businesses had really good reputations - M65 Recruitment had over 10 years experience and Job Search had almost 25 years - so we intend to build on that excellent base."

Between their Blackburn and Burnley offices, in Brownhill Drive and Manchester Road respectively, which will each be retained, they have a combined 700 candidates.

More than half are said to be skilled or semi-skilled engineers or commercial staff, alongside potential warehousing and labouring recruits.

"This means we are strongly placed to help local businesses address the skills shortage they face," added Mr Wiggan.

The newly-expanded venture is also looking to maintain its links with local colleges so work placements can be secured for willing hands.