The author of the opening quote, Ruth O'Donoghue, is Working Links' business partner for Wales, and her team of more than 100 people, based at Caerphilly, has grown steadily since Working Links was established seven years ago.
The organisation, which operates in more than 50 locations across Britain delivering more than 60 contracts, has a strategy of having a presence in the poorest areas of the country.
The valleys of south Wales are one such area.The landscape means knowing how to drive is a necessity, and anyone who does not risks finding work harder to come by.
explains: "Around here, the buses and trains stop at about 9pm on a weeknight, so if you want to do casual retail work over Christmas but can't drive, then you're not as attractive to an employer."
"When somebody stops you in the supermarket and tells you that you helped change their life, that's the best feeling in the world, it really is," says O'Donoghue
Cynics would suggest that Working Links
is a socially acceptable way for Manpower to make money, but O'Donoghue
refutes any such notion.
"We're helping people every day, even in a small way," she
"I'd be naÃ¯ve if I said a client hadn't come to us and told us that somebody wasn't what they expected, or that somebody hadn't worked out," says O'Donoghue
"We try and take a holistic approach, which means we give something back to the community, so we do things for other people, not just ourselves," points out O'Donoghue
Working Links is continually ploughing its funds back into new initiatives, as it seeks to maximise its potential for helping people into work.Out of a turnover of Â£55m for 2005-06, profit was Â£2.2m.This figure was double that of the previous year.
"We want to be able to do innovative things in the community," says O'Donoghue
."Our organisation is giving people the chance to change their lives, and we look to do things in a holisitic way."
The Welfare to Work agenda is not one which is commonly embraced by traditional recruiters.O'Donoghue
suggests that Working Links'
experience in handling the Welfare to Work programme gives them the edge when it comes to dealing with marginalised sectors of society.
"We can provide the expertise and we're offering a unique service," she