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Wrexham firm Gap Personnel has taken on 147 people in 18 months

ONE of the UK’s fastest-growing recruitment agencies has defied the economic downturn by taking on nearly 150 staff since the start of last year.

Wrexham-based Gap Personnel, which has branches in Flint and Wrexham, was founded in 1997 and has grown to become the UK’s eighth largest industrial labour provider.

The company, which also has an office in Flint, created 94 new jobs during 2010, with 53 new starters joining so far this year. The firm now employs about 200 people in total.

And that’s despite the fact UK unemployment rose 38,000 in the three months to June this year to 2.49m.

The growth in Gap’s headcount has been driven by expansion into new regions including Yorkshire, the Midlands and South West England.

Positions created include regional directors, branch managers, recruitment consultants and admin staff.

The company also has a policy of investing in youth by taking on apprentices through recognised Government schemes.

Managing director Gary Dewhurst said: “At a time when many of our rivals in the recruitment industry are stalling or even downsizing, we are pursuing an ambitious growth strategy and taking people on.

“We don’t believe in standing still and are always looking for ways to grow the business.

“Gap now has a total of 30 branches across five key UK regions, with plans for further expansion.

“At a time of ongoing economic uncertainty, it is pleasing to know we have created 147 jobs in just over 18 months.”

Gap, which specialises in industrial recruitment, places and payrolls up to 5,000 temporary workers per week, covering more than 1.5m shifts each year.