News from around the Industry
In this section we will try to keep you regularly updated with interesting, factual news from the world of Plant Hire, Building Supply and General Construction and Industrial Supply sectors.
If you have any items you think may be of interest to other Job Seekers, Employers or Recruiters forward them to email@example.com and we'll be happy to publish them here.
GAP Vehicle Hire - NEW Manchester "Mega-Site" - Posted 18-05-2017
GAP Vehicle Hire, have announced expansion plans in the North West of England after investing over £1 million into a multi-division 4 acre site in Clifton, Manchester. The new depot will officially open its doors in August 2016.
With a classification of a ‘Mega-Site, the large complex will have the capacity to operate around 3000 vehicles, and will offer customers a complete fleet solution in terms of ‘flexible’ vehicle hire.
Jim Forrester, Operations Director for GAP Vehicle Hire said:
“Having the ability to react faster than our competitors has been key to our growth in the flexible hire market and we look forward to supporting new and existing customers in the North West and beyond.”
The new site will boast a brand new Hiredesk reception, vehicle up-fitting centre, as well as a large forecourt which is already earmarked for a vehicle sales compound.
Job vacancies for Regional Manager, Regional Sales Manager, Hiredesk/workshop staff and a variety of operational roles will soon be advertised. Experienced candidates are encouraged to apply if they are driven, customer focused and more importantly, have a genuine passion for the industry.
So keep your eyes on our UK Hire Jobs for further news!
Nationwide Platforms Open Day - Posted 21.01.2016
Don't miss out on this fantastic career opportunity at Nationwide Platforms. If you are an experienced & organised Regional Service Engineer then we want to hear from you. For more information and to view our other vacancies click below. http://ow.ly/X0gyH
GAP Hire Solutions Waltham Cross Recruitment Day
GAP Hire Solutions, the UK’s national hire partner, is holding a recruitment event to supply information on a range of roles available in their London depots.
The Recruitment Day will take place at GAP’s Waltham Cross depot on 18th March between 3pm – 8pm and will offer potential applicants the chance to find out more about working for GAP from employees themselves – representatives from 8 divisions will be on hand to discuss the range of career opportunities available.
No experience in the hire industry is required as we offer an extensive training programme on the range of products and services we supply to our customers. Instead, we are keen to speak to individuals who are enthusiastic and passionate about working hard and providing great service. Refreshments and light bites will be on offer, as well as the chance to win some fantastic prizes.
GAP Hire Solutions has 8 divisions and a number of depots located throughout London and the South East, with more new openings planned for 2015. We have new opportunities in a range of roles including:
· Plant Mechanics
· Customer Sales Advisors
· Sales Representatives
· General Managers
· Business Development roles
Visit our website www.gap-group.co.uk to find out more details about the event.
The HSS statement in full in response to the so called "naming and shaming" published by the HMRC over the past weekend:
STATEMENT FROM CHRIS DAVIES, CEO, IN RESPONSE TO PRESS ARTICLES CONCERNING THE MINIMUM WAGE
10th June 2014
The minimum wage is one of the most important workplace rights. It is a fundamental that we value, respect and adhere to and we are outraged at the accusation that we have not complied with this legislation. We have contacted the government minister responsible, Jenny Willott, MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs, to request a robust apology.
The facts are as follows:
- In October 2013, an error in upload to our computer system meant the pay of 15 colleagues was not updated with the changes to the minimum wage in that month by between 47p and £25 each – a total of £150.
- This was an administrative error that we immediately noticed and set about correcting; the underpayments were rectified within a month.
- We received an acknowledgement from HMRC confirming that they were satisfied with our response and were issued a Notice of Underpayment some three months after we first noticed the error and two months after it was corrected.
We feel strongly that the action of “naming and shaming” for a genuine administrative error that was quickly and proactively notified and rectified is disproportionate and unfair. Having sought legal advice, we also believe that HMRC has not followed its own process.
HSS Group currently employs over 2,800 colleagues across the UK and Ireland and only 20 of these are currently paid the minimum wage whilst all others are above it. Over the last 12 months we have welcomed 655 new colleagues to the business and trained 36 apprentices. We are committed to paying all colleagues fairly and legally and we also go a long way over and above that with a strong track record of investing in our people. In May 2013, we opened a dedicated training facility for all new sales colleagues to receive residential training, representing a first in the UK hire industry. We also provide all colleagues with life assurance and health care benefits and of course, we contribute to their pensions. There are many factors which substantially contribute to a company’s success but, for us, our core belief in people and our distinct workplace culture is the most important and we work hard to support our people.
Given these facts, it is ludicrous that HSS should have been listed alongside companies which have allegedly contravened employment law. We consider this to be deeply damaging to our hard won reputation as a meticulously fair, inclusive and strongly progressive employer and resent the accusation.
Chief Executive Officer
HSS Hire Group
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For suitable candidates our fees include flights, accommodation for 8 weeks and visa sponsorship.
Interviews in Dublin week commencing 12th April
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When it comes to donating raffle prizes, most people would be happy to contribute some bath products or a cheap bottle of fizz.
But Scottish Plant Hire Company AGF Plant's very generous owners have gone that bit further... Andrew and Patricia Fiddes have given away their prized 1967 MG sports car!
The couple raised £9,500 for the Leuchie House Care Centre having organised a dinner, dance and prize draw to help ward off the threat of closure.
Drew, 53, who owns a AGF Plant Hire went on to explain:
“We had owned the car for ten years and we’d lovingly restored it.
“We got a lot of pleasure from it, but we just decided it was time someone else got some happiness from the car. I think we must have sold around 300 tickets for it.”
The lucky winner of the motor was painter and decorator Ian Hume from Whitekirk.
Leuchie House looking likely to close last summer following an MS Society announcement that it was withdrawing from direct provision of respite care.
The home was granted a six-month stay of execution following a well-publicised campaign backed by politicians, service-users and a 30,000-strong petition to save it.
Drew said: “Leuchie House is very local to us and I suppose I’m a bit of a rebel – I see something is shutting down and I think we should be doing something to keep it going.”
Mairi O’Keefe, chief executive of Leuchie House, said: “We’re so appreciative and inspired by Drew and Trish’s efforts. We can’t thank them enough.
“Given that our guests and staff believed that Leuchie was at risk of closure just a year ago, we are all amazed by the way that the community has demonstrated such support for Leuchie and what we do.”
Teenager locked up over £150,000 trail of destruction at plant hire site
A TEENAGER has been locked up after a £150,000 “orgy of destruction” at a plant hire site where he and another youth smashed vehicles and heavy equipment into each other “for a laugh”.
The premises of KPH Plant Hire in Geldard Road, Birstall, Batley had been secured for the night of March 7 but the following morning the trail of damage among the 30 vehicles left on the half-acre site was discovered.
John Bull, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court yesterday the firm hired out machinery to the construction and building trade including excavators and heavy wagons and in addition to the £157,000 total cost of the damage had lost thousands of pounds through machinery not being available for hire.
Police recovered a baseball cap and a glove at the site and the DNA of Jordan Cooper, 18, was found on the glove. When he was arrested he revealed he had gone into the site with a 17-year-old and when that youth crashed one vehicle into another he thought it was a laugh and did the same thing.
The other youth received a four- month detention and training order from magistrates.
Cooper, who was homeless at the time, was sent to a young offender institution for 12 months after he admitted damage and stealing two satellite navigation systems.
David Orbaum, representing Cooper, said he was immature for his age.
UK rental company HSS Hire won the Large Rental Company of the Year award at the European Rental Awards in Amsterdam, with Romanian company Industrial Access taking the award for the Small Rental Company of the Year.
Pierre Boels, president of Boels Verhuur, was named Rental Person of the Year and Gunnar Glifberg, the former Cramo CEO, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Other awards on the night - presented in front of an audience of over 450 people at the Okura Hotel in Amsterdam - included GAP Plant (safety award), A-Plant (rental IT award for its Auto Tool Hire Unit), Ramirent (marketing award), Teletower (product of the year) and Volvo (manufacturer of the year).
The awards, jointly organised by International Rental News (IRN) magazine and the European Rental Association (ERA), took place at the Okura Hotel on Wednesday 8 June. The awards coincided with the International Rental Exhibition (IRE) and the European Rental Association's annual convention, both being held on 7-9 June in Amsterdam.
The full list of winners was as follows:
Large Rental Company of the year (turnover > €15 million)
HSS Hire (UK)
Small Rental Company of the year (turnover <€15 million)
Industrial Access (Romania)
Rental Person of the Year
Pierre Boels jr, Boels Verhuur
Lifetime Achievement Award
Gunnar Glifberg, formerly Cramo
Rental Product of the Year
Teletower Access Solutions (Teletower)
Manufacturer of the Year
Rental IT Award
A-Plant (Auto Tool Hire Unit)
Rental Safety Award
Rental Marketing Award
Plant hire group Vp has proved itself to be resilient to the difficult trading conditions of the past year, with financial results described as "very satisfactory".
Vp (formerly known as Vibroplant) has reported a 5% growth in revenue to £141.0m for the year to 31 March 2011.
Pre-tax profit was down 15% to £12.2m.
Profit before amortisation, exceptional items and tax of £13.8 million (2010: £16.0 million)
Chairman Jeremy Pilkington said the results were “very satisfactory… given the current trading environment and the continuing recessionary pressures felt in many of our markets”.
He added: “The group enters the new financial year with a strong balance sheet and I have every confidence that we will continue to create opportunities and deliver satisfactory business performance over both the short and longer term.
“This year has seen pressures and difficult markets faced by many parts of the group, but these results reflect the benefit of the strong market positions we hold and the resilience of our strength through diversity business model.
“The new financial year will undoubtedly present us with further challenges and surprises but it has started well, and we have every confidence that we will continue to create opportunities and deliver satisfactory business performance over both the short and longer term.
Hire Station (tool hire)
Turnover up 7% to £53.5m
Operating profit before amortisation and exceptional items down 6% to £3.0m
Investment in rental fleet £10.3m (2010: £4.5m)
Groundforce (trench and excavation systems)
Revenue down 8% to £30.3m
Operating profit before amortisation and exceptional items down 27% to £6.7m
Investment in rental fleet £3.8m (2010: £3.5m)
UK Forks (telehandlers)
Revenue up 2% to £10,8m
Operating profit before amortisation and exceptional items at £1.1m (up from break-even last year).
Investment in rental fleet £4.4m (2010: £100,000)
Airpac Bukom (oilfield services)
Revenue up 11 to £17.5m
Operating profit before amortisation and exceptional items down 31% to £2.7m
Investment in rental fleet £1.3m (2010: £4.6m)
Torrent Trackside (rail plant)
Revenue up 41% to £14.9m
Operating profit before amortisation and exceptional items up from £200,000 last year to £1.6m
Investment in rental fleet £2.9m (2010 £800,000)
TPA (portable roadway systems)
Revenue down 1% to £14.0m
Operating profit before amortisation and exceptional items down 36% to £1.4m
Investment in rental fleet £1.5m (2010: £500,000)
Plant & equipment – One step ahead
With ongoing changes to the demands made of the rail industry, it is only to be expected that adjustments will be needed to the nation’s fleet of core excavators.
With this in mind, a document exists which helps owners provide a continuing high level of service.
The Rail Industry Standard for the Engineering Acceptance of On-Track Plant and Associated Equipment (RIS-1530-PLT Issue 3) steers organisations through an evolving landscape.
In order to comply with its requirements, the Quattro Group has launched a substantial renovation project covering its entire fleet of core excavators.
Over the course of 2011, more than 40 will be overhauled and upgraded. Whilst the work is being undertaken, there will be no more than three of the Group’s core machines unavailable for hire.
In terms of client upheaval, it has been decided that this is the least disruptive way to undertake the work. It should help to ensure that the needs of existing projects as well as additional spot hire and emergency requirements can all be catered for.
A number of organisations are involved in the renovation, all of whom are well known and respected within the industry. Having recently returned to rail, 24 machines are with King Transport Equipment and the firm has chosen to showcase its new technologies on the Quattro Group’s machines.
The latest piece of equipment to undergo renovation is a Komatsu PW170, one of Quattro’s most-requested machines. Upgraded from GM/RT 1300 to RIS-1530 Issue 3 specifications, it underwent works at the King plant in Market Harborough including -
- The extension of its lifting capability
- Extensive modifications to incorporate a compliant GKD-rated capacity indicator, allowing the improved lifting capacity to be available continuously without any zones
- The installation of a new service braking system for towed trailers
- A repaint and the fitment of new decals.
Following initial planning of the upgrades, King has designed and manufactured a new test facility at its factory.
This will provide rail plant operators with an efficient and cost-effective method of stability testing and is designed to ensure that all renovated machines – including the Komatsu PW170 – are put rigorously through their paces.
The testing includes work on a turntable which can automatically adjust cant, incline and lifting angles to ensure that all upgraded machines are examined to the full limits of their operating envelope and comply with the requirements of the VAB certificate for Quattro and its other clients.
Interfleet provided VAB services and witnessed all the stability and on-track brake testing for this particular piece of equipment.
Feedback from customers on the benefits of the machines currently in rotation is vitally important to the Quattro Group, confirming that the modifications best match their needs and those of the wider industry.
A comprehensive understanding of the rail sector means that the planning team fully appreciates the railway’s requirements. As a result, this opportunity has been used not only to carry out the works required to comply with the Standard but also to introduce additional features to core machines.
Consider and adopt
As the UK’s largest user of the Engcon Tiltrotator, Quattro saw the benefits of applying this attachment to a number of core excavators, providing clients with a machine that not only performs to the highest standard but also brings additional advantages with regards to simpler handling, better use of time and improved functionality when performing routine tasks such as ballast handling, rotational handling and excavation.
The project has highlighted the need to keep one step ahead of the game and ensure that all changes in the technological side of the industry are quickly considered and adopted.
The renovations will profit both individual organisations and the industry as a whole, as well as helping the Group to continue providing a well maintained and compliant fleet to meet the hire needs of clients across the UK.
And there are lasting benefits for the fleet’s ongoing maintenance. Such a substantial renovation process radically improves the reliability of the core machines, maintaining the Quattro Group’s reputation as one of the UK’s most dependable rail plant hire firms.
13 December 2010
Growth at last for the UK's Plant Hire Sector!
Three years of shrinkage in the UK plant and tool hire market will now be followed by five years of growth, according to a market research report.
The report reckons that the UK plant and tool hire market will shrink 2% this year to £4001m.
This follows falls of 2% in 2008 and 16% in 2009, it says.
Profit margins have also been squeezed as intensified price competition has put hire rates under increased pressure. Only civil engineering and the repair & maintenance sectors prevented the plant hire sector from suffering more.
Report authors from market research consultant MDB forecast that next year demand will increase by 1% in real terms, followed by slightly stronger growth in the following four years of between 2% and 5% a year. In 2015 the value of the market is anticipated to reach £4634 million (at 2010 prices), representing overall growth of 16% in real terms compared with the current year.
With the hire sector naturally following construction output trends, strongest market growth will come from private sector civil engineering projects, such as utilities and renewable energy generation.
22 June 2010
HSS CEO Named ‘European Rental Person Of The Year’
HSS, the UK’s award-winning tool and equipment hire company, have had their Chief Executive, Chris Davies, heralded as ‘European Rental Person of the Year’ by the European Rental Association.
The awards were attended by over 250 rental professionals and organised by International Rental News (IRN) and the ERA, and were announced at a special dinner in Prague at the ERA’s annual convention.
It is the latest award to be linked to the ‘original tool hire company’, who were awarded Hire Association Europe’s Hire Company of the Year 2009, Contract Journal’s Plant Hire Company of the Year 2009, and were awarded HAE’s ‘Excellence in Customer Care’ award in 2010.
The judging panel for the European Rental Association have said they wanted to recognise Davies’s contribution in making HSS “one of the most modern and innovative companies in the industry” and one that is “at the forefront of using the internet to market its services.”
Chris Davies has led companies in sectors including building materials, office equipment and leisure retailing. Having joined HSS in 2006, he has been cited to have re-engineered HSS into a business focussed on serving professional customers in addition to the homeowner/DIY market where they were traditionally strong.
Stocking over 15,000 items, including ladder and plant hire, chainsaw and scarifier rental. HSS are also the only company to hold a 4* British Safety Award.
Plant hire firm Hewden has confirmed that one of its employees was fatally wounded in the shooting incidents that took place in Cumbria on 1 June
Plant operator David Bird had worked for the firm for eight years at Hewden’s Whitehaven depot, which has been closed until 7 June as a mark of respect.
In an official statement, the firm said it was “deeply saddened by these events, and extends it sympathies to all the families affected by this tragedy.”
Mr Bird was the brother of gunman Derrick Bird, and is believed to have been his first victim.
He was described by his employer as a well-liked colleague who was well known to many customers in the area. The Whitehaven branch where he worked hires out both operated and non-operated equipment. Mr Bird was a fully trained plant operator who would operate Hewden hired equipment on customer’s sites throughout the region.
Hewden said that customers affected by the temporary closure of the Whitehaven depot will find that all telephone calls to the depot are diverted to another Hewden depot, or they can call head office on 0161 848 8621 for assistance.
LIVERPOOL stockbroker Panmure Gordon expressed disappointment with Newton-le-Willows plant hire group Speedy Hire’s annual results – but still remains a buyer of its stock.
The broker said Speedy Hire’s figures came in on the low side of expectations, but praised the firm for cutting debts.
Speedy Hire chairman David Wallis revealed a 27.3% fall in revenues to £351m in the year to March 31.
Pre-tax losses improved from a £71.1m deficit last year to £22.8m in 2010, and group operating losses of £8.6m compare with a loss of £50.7m previously.
The group said net debt was cut by more than 50% to £119m and it revealed the decline in revenues had slowed to 12.1% in the fourth quarter.
Two new contracts worth £6m annually were also announced.
Mr Wallis told shareholders: “As activity levels improve, your business is in good shape to capitalise on the recovery.”
Panmure Gordon analyst Mike Allen said Speedy’s full-year results were slightly lower than expectations, adding: “Lower full-year debt is a positive, and the size of cost cutting sets up the business well for future profitability.”
He believes caution on current year capital expenditure has ramifications for the group’s top-line growth, and expects to trim current year profit expectations.
“However, we believe Speedy remains well-placed for the upturn and remain buyers,” he added.
Speedy Hire celebrates renewal of five year deal worth up to £20m
SPEEDY Hire, the Newton-le-Willows based plant hire group, has renewed an existing deal with Galliford Try which could be worth up to £20m over five years.
The new contract also involves an extension to the scope of the services it provides Galliford Try, including a bespoke hire desk providing a single point of contact for the client.
Speedy said the extension of its deal with the Galliford Try business has particular value as it is Speedy’s longest standing preferred supply agreement, dating back to 1996 and the purchase of the then internal fleet activity of Vine Plant.
FINNING International Inc. has announced that is has sold Hewden, its UK equipment rental business, for £110.2 million to Sun European Partners LLP, and it is thought at the income will be used to reduce debt within Finning’s operation.
In relation to the UK arm of Finning’s business, which sells and services the full range of Caterpillar equipment including telehandlers and loading shovels, it has been clarified that the Canadian parent company of Finning remains fully committed to this UK operation.
Finning said it is investing in its product line, which includes the recent introduction of the TH407 telehandler and the 926H wheel loader and has seen an increase in interest and customer demand for its products in this non-traditional Caterpillar market.
The company has already exhibited at this year’s Lamma show and will be attending the Scograss exhibition next week and also the forthcoming Cereals show.
“Going forward, Finning’s UK dealership will continue to work closely with our plant hire customers to place Caterpillar equipment into the UK equipment rental market,” said Andy Fraser, managing director of Finning UK Group. “Our market approach is to provide total solutions with extraordinary service and Caterpillar world class products. We are confident we can demonstrate the value of Finning to Hewden’s new owners and maintain a productive commercial relationship with Hewden.”
“This is a continuation of our journey towards a new Finning and the final step in rationalising our UK operations. Combined sale proceeds from this transaction, Hewden Tools, and the dealership’s Materials Handling divisions total almost $600 million,” notes Mike Waites, president and chief executive officer of Finning International Inc. “We have a great business model going forward and are completely focused on driving the operating performance and value potential of Finning.”
Hewden covers 63 locations in the U.K. and has 1,300 employees. The existing Hewden commercial centre in Manchester is proposed to be the new head office for Hewden. Finning has agreed to provide transitional services to Hewden. Finning UK will continue to operate 20 branches in the UK with 1,470 employees serving Caterpillar dealership customers throughout the UK based from its head office in Cannock, Staffordshire.
Nov 02 2009
A Shropshire plant hire firm is up for sale after falling into administration, with the loss of dozens of jobs.
Oswestry company Incasep, which trades as Greyhound Plant Services, collapsed a week ago, becoming the latest victim of troubles in the construction industry.
The final nail in the coffin for the firm was a problem over tax repayments.
The company missed two payments, and then failed to arrange a feasible plan to pay them back, and so was taken into administration. HMRC originally wanted the amount to be repaid in full in one payment. This was later negotiated down to 50 per cent but it was still too much for the company.
At least 40 people lost their jobs immediately when the firm went into administration while the rest of the 200-strong workforce carried on while a buyer was sought.
Administrators from Birmingham financial services firm Begbies Traynor were brought in to manage the business, with joint administrators John Kelly, Nigel Price and James Martin being put in charge.
They said the aim was to keep the company going and save as many jobs as possible.
The family firm, which has traded in Shropshire for 27 years, has a blue chi p customer base and was involved in building and civil engineering projects across the West Midlands and Wales. It provides plant hire, earthworks and training to the construction industry, highways, water and waste and quarrying industries, supplying both housing and civil engineering projects.
The company had a long-standing relationship with Volvo, which made up a large proportion of its fleet of construction vehicles, including excavators, haulers and rollers. Early this year the company invested heavily in new equipment from Volvo, taking on 34 vehicles for its fleet.
Before falling into trouble, Incasep traded with a turnover of roughly £20 million a year.
Begbies Traynor said it was regrettable that redundancies had been made but the ultimate aim was to keep the company trading while looking for a buyer. It added creditors were being kept informed over the process but it has not yet said what level of debt the company has.
Last night, the Greyhound website had been taken down from service but the company was still operational.
June 9 2009
Job Seekers do the Strangest Things
Picking a recent copy of an industry magazine I found myself reading an article on the lengths candidates will go to secure a job or even just an interview with a recruiter.
There's no doubt about it, times are hard, jobs are thin on the ground and we all have to go that extra mile to secure our immediate futures. My favourite however was the candidate who obviously believed he was the best thing since.. and to let his preferred consultant know just that, he forwarded his CV, Covering Letter and a "CONGRATULATIONS" card in the post. He was congratulating the recruitment consultant on being lucky enough to have received his CV and that he was obviously highly employable by one of his clients!
Other stories I enjoyed included the sales training role interviewee who prior to his interview made a number of calls to his potential employers offices in a mystery shopper stylee, at the interview he then presented a full report to the employer highlighting areas that he deemed positive as well as areas where he felt training was needed for those advisors he'd spoken to. Result... a very impressed employer and success for the job seeker!
There are many stories of candidates who offer their services free for a period of time usually 1 month UNPAID in which to prove themselves worthy of the position offered, not all succesfull it has to be said. As well as candidates who try to twist the standard responses on CV's and during the interview itself, such as:
- Interests: "dropping things from great heights"
- My favourite Colour is....
- Tell us about something daring that you have done: The candidate stood up, pulled up their shirt and proudly showed a board of directors HER nipple ring! You guessed it... she didn't get the job.
April 6 2009
Plant and Construction Equipment Auctions in Boom Time
Having attended a number of trade shows and more recently a local but very well know plant equipment auction it is evident that there are a number of organiations (not least the auctioneers themselves) that are benefiting enormously from the current downturn in the industry. These auctions however are not for the faint-hearted I witnessed, a degree of knowledge of second-hand values is a must before the pressures and excitement of the surroundings leads you into "just one more bid" that can take the eventual price paid, including auctioneers commission fees, VAT! (yes vat is chargeable on some, not all of your purchases) and hidden costs of collection and further selling costs, utimately being well over the item's inherent value!
An interesting article I read today on the benefits and pitfalls of construction companies buying used AND new plant and equipment from one of the regular auctions held throughout the UK is available here: It's lengthy but interesting if auctions are something you are involved in or are considering
UK Hire Jobs is delighted to announce a presence at the The National Event For Construction, the SED 2009 Show. Perfectly timed to coincide with the launch of the new and updated UKHireJobs website, it is the first opportunity in 2009 to get in front of decision makers and key candidates from the Plant Manufacturing and Hire sectors.
Situated in the Blue Pavilion on stand 25 we are looking forward to show casing the revolutionary and innovative new services and features available to Employers and Candidates alike.
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