INDUSTRIAL recruitment agency gap personnel has defied the economic gloom by announcing an ambitious expansion of its specialist driving division.
gap, the UK’s eighth largest industrial labour provider, is creating five regional hubs across the UK in a multi-million pound boost to its Driving Force brand.

It comes after gap witnessed an unprecedented increase in demand for drivers during 2011.

The move will see gap hiring up to 30 recruitment consultants and admin staff during 2012 – tripling the size of the Driving Force workforce from 15 to 45.

Up to 15 satellite offices are also being launched to support the main regional hubs. The new dedicated hubs will be based in:

·     Ellesmere Port, Cheshire (serving the North West);
·     Castleford, (serving Yorkshire, the North East and borders);
·     Northampton (serving the Midlands);
·     Bristol (serving the South West); and
·     Hatfield, Hertfordshire (serving London and the South East).

Driving Force supplies HGV and van drivers to the transport and logistics sector.

gap managing director Gary Dewhurst said: “Ongoing economic uncertainty means many transport and haulage firms are reluctant to take on full-time drivers on a permanent basis.

“The industry has become much more reliant on flexible manpower, as a means of protecting profits and increasing efficiency during difficult times.”

The expansion will give Driving Force UK-wide coverage. A target has been set of achieving turnover of £20m within three years.

Gary added: “This is one of the biggest investments in gap’s history.

“The intention is to establish Driving Force as a top-three labour provider in the driving sector by 2015.

“Some might say it’s an unusual time to be expanding, given the tough economic climate.

“However, here at gap we believe that if you’re not moving forward, you are going backwards.

“We see driving as a key growth area within recruitment, and when the recovery does come we will be in an extremely strong position to capitalise.”

Driving Force offers a 24-hour response centre and quarterly licence checks. It is a member of the Road Haulage Association (RHA).
It is paying for drivers registered with it to achieve the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC)  – a new legal requirement for all truck drivers who drive professionally throughout Europe.

Gary added: “Fluctuating workloads mean clients need access to reliable, flexible drivers on demand.

“Our investment will catapult Driving Force into a different league in terms of reach, scale and ambition, but we will still retain our core values of responsiveness and flexibility.”

Founded in 1997, gap personnel has grown to become one of the country’s most successful independent recruitment agencies.

The privately-owned company has successful regional operations in the north west, midlands, Wales, Yorkshire and the south west.
Group turnover in 2011 was £60m and revenues are forecast to hit £75m in 2012.

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