HE started his business in a back bedroom almost 20 years ago – but now a Swindon businessman has hit the latest Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 of companies across the UK.

“It’s the first time I’m pleased to have been No 99,” said Paul Jameson, MD at Outsource UK, which is regarded as the top IT recruitment company in the UK with more than 80,000 people registered with it. In the last three years Outsource UK, which is based at Old Town, has seen its sales rise from £5m to £18m.

Twelve companies in the Southwest stormed onto the Fast Track 100, which ranks Britain’s 100 private companies with the fastest-growing sales. Outsource was the only one from Swindon, coming in at 99.

“We are extremely pleased with this achievement,” said Paul.

“This not just a normal business award because this one comes from audited books. It’s also a good present because next week will my 43rd birthday.”

Outsource is regarded as the recruitment agency to go to if you are a company and you want a top IT recruit. They reckon to have the best and one of their top accounts is Nationwide.

“It’s important that we keep the Swindon connection and we have an excellent pool of highly qualified people living in this area. We have 80,000 people registered with us and that number grows 200 every week.”

Paul reckons that 2010 will be a better year for the economy after the difficulties of 2009 and he can see signs of improvement in the job market.

His company recognises the value in establishing good relations with clients and candidates, adding: “We have a simple approach which is based on reliability and trust. Our reputation within the IT recruitment industry is representative of the honesty and integrity with which we continually work.

“We have a low staff turnover, with an average length of service of five years. The result of this is that we have a team with extensive knowledge and experience of the industry.”

The 12 top 100 companies in the South West employ 1,477 people and have created 1,116 jobs. Sales have grown an average of 110 per cent a year to combined sales of more than £301m, and they are forecasting further sales growth of 35 per cent this year.

Sir Richard Branson of Virgin, which sponsors the league table, said: “The last year has been one of the toughest I remember in business; but the fear of the early part of 2009 has been replaced by optimism.”

Most of the companies are based in London (32) and the North (22). The remainder breaks down as follows: Southeast (18), Southwest (12), Midlands (7), East (4), Scotland (3) and Wales (2).

The full findings are on www.fasttrack.co.uk and go to www.outsource-uk.co.uk for more information.