Workoola, a business started by a young entrepreneur in Leeds, UK, will expand into glass decoration, leading to the creation of 100 jobs.

Rana Rihan, 29, started Workoola after she was made redundant during the pandemic.

The company developed close ties to the glass manufacturing industry around West Yorkshire and has branched out into providing quality control for jars and bottles used for food and drink items, including sauces, yoghurts and spirits.

The operation has 30 staff based at a dedicated 11,500 sq ft warehouse in Stourton, Leeds, UK, and has an additional 15 staff in its recruitment arm, based in the city’s Beeston district.

Ms Rihan said the company has now outgrown its premises and is expanding further into glass decoration, reflecting growing demand from jar and bottle manufacturers.

She is seeking a larger site in the Leeds area totalling around 30,000 sq ft, to bring Workoola under one roof, with plans to recruit around 100 people over the next 12 months for the new glass decoration division.

Workoola’s growth comes amid surging demand from food manufacturers for glass containers as an alternative to plastic.

Ms Rihan said: “We have now outgrown our current premises and are looking to greatly expand our footprint at a larger site in the Leeds area, where our new glass decorating division will also be based, operating on a 24/7 basis with a team including machine operatives, labourers and supervisors.

“Demand for glass containers is increasing as manufacturers switch away from plastic due to its environmental impact.

"Glass tends to keep the flavours better, and is seen as being a more durable and presentable form of packaging, as well as being greener and more suitable for recycling.”

Ms Rihan launched Workoola in 2021 with seed funding and support from WeDo Business Services.

The company, which Rana founded with three employees, started as a provider of temporary, fixed-term and permanent staff for sectors including manufacturing, food production and processing, transport, warehousing, logistics and distribution, primarily around Yorkshire and other areas of northern England.

Roles include factory operatives, pickers and packers and fork-lift truck drivers, HGV and van drivers, as well as supervisory and management positions.