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No gender gap as recruiters thrive.


EMMA Ceballos is busy making phone calls from the corner of one of the branches of North Wales-headquartered gap personnel.

The operations director for the booming recruitment specialist often finds herself having to work wherever she can find a make-shift desk.

"I'm always travelling between branches and don't really have a permanent base, so as long as there is a power point and a phone signal, I'm good to go!" she said.

Ms Ceballos, 34, of south Wirral, is not the only woman helping gap personnel grow. Many members of the team orchestrating the company's growth strategy are women, including HR and finance director Cathie Bateman and mergers and acquisition integration manager Marie Samuels.

The company is defying the current economic climate and powering ahead with expansion plans, opening new branches and welcoming new acquisitions to the network.

gap personnel specialises in recruiting temporary and permanent workers for the manufacturing, industrial and commercial sectors and is based in Wrexham. Founded in 1997, it now has a network of more 40 branches across Wales, Scotland and England and an annual turnover in excess of pounds 50m. It is one of the largest independent recruitment companies in Wales, with around 170 staff in its core and head offices, although its acquired businesses now take the employment figure closer to 250.

Two new acquisitions, London-based Kerr Multilingual and Bristol-based Temple Quay, being made by the gap personnel network this year mean the company is well on its way to achieving its target of a pounds 100m yearly turnover by 2012.

The company has secured funding of pounds 500,000 from Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets to aid its growth strategy and fund the acquisitions.

Both Kerr Multilingual and Temple Quay specialise in recruitment to the commercial, call centre and office sectors, and both agencies are staffed entirely by women.

Ms Ceballos, who was appointed to head up gap personnel's technical division, overseeing operations within the company's branches in Flint, Chester, Liverpool, Warrington and Preston, said: "Access to capital is a vital ingredient required for a successful recruitment agency.

"Our recruitment partners also value the access to large networks, mentors, expertise and brand awareness that have repeatedly proven to be even more valuable."

A mother of two young children, she joined gap in 1998 as a trainee account manager, worked her way up and was appointed to the board of directors in 2006.

"At gap personnel, over 60% of our workforce is female, and 65% of the upper management across our network is also female," she said.

"We encourage the development of women's skills in the workplace, from training courses through to flexible working hours and subsidised childcare, allowing mothers to keep one foot on the career ladder."


Emma Ceballos, of gap personnel, is a working mum who is helping the growth of her employer
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 29, 2009
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