People on the Move: Airswift; 21Digital; Broudie Jackson Canter; Four Recruitment; BDO

Neil Manfred

Airswift, the global workforce solutions provider for the energy, process and infrastructure sectors, has appointed Neil Manfred as its new IT director to lead the firm’s digital transformation strategy.

Neil brings more than 20 years of experience in global IT infrastructure and project management, having successfully run several technology procurement and system integration programmes during his career.

Based in the Manchester office, Neil will lead driving Airswift’s global digital strategy forward, planning how best to deploy technological solutions and utilise data to optimise business functions, as well as enhance the value provided to clients.

Kyle McClure, CFO of Airswift said: “We’re very excited to have Neil join our team and use his vast experience in IT operations to help us apply data and information management to our everyday business activities.

“Technology will be at the forefront of our operations, bettering our analysis and understanding of the world of work to provide a more optimal client and candidate experience.”

This appointment comes as part of Airswift’s ongoing efforts and investments into the digital transformation and diversification of its business. With a presence in more than 60 countries worldwide, effective technology has long been crucial to the company’s success, a point emphasised by recent events.

Neil Manfred said: “The impact of COVID-19 on working practices has only underlined the importance of our digital strategy as we see the future of work evolve through technology.

“Airswift’s commitment to change, and our mission to empower employees, clients and contractors though technology, are more applicable in this rapidly altering climate than ever before.”


21Digital has expanded its team with the appointment of Andrew Fletcher as a web developer.

The Blackburn-based multi-award-winning agency specialises in lead generation and ecommerce through a range of digital marketing services, including web design, web development, SEO, Google Ads, digital consultancy, social media marketing and email marketing.

Fletcher joins the agency from an inhouse position at a major online retailer, where he was responsible for backend development of a number of ecommerce sites, using Magento 2, OpenCart, and WooCommerce systems.

Andrew Fletcher

He said: “I’m really excited to be joining 21Digital as I’ve heard loads about them and the great work they do for a wide variety of clients.

“The team are all super friendly and I felt really comfortable pretty much from the get-go, and got stuck right in.

“Working in an agency means you get the opportunity to work on a much wider variety of sites with different requirements and specs, and since starting here I’ve already worked on some pretty big projects, like and Cover My Furniture for Plumbs.”


North West law firm Broudie Jackson Canter has brought a new employment and discrimination expert on board.

James Tinston, who has more than 14 years’ experience and has been a qualified solicitor for in excess of 10 years, will work with the firm to bolster its offering across issues such as unfair dismissal, unfair redundancy and breaches of the Equality Act.

Having previously worked as a trade union lawyer, James plans to grow the employment law and discrimination team with the aim of achieving justice for more people across the region.

With the end of the Government’s furlough scheme fast approaching, James and the wider team are expecting an increase in the number of people requiring expert guidance as they face the prospect of changes to their employment.

James Tinston

James said: “I’m really thrilled to be part of Broudie Jackson Canter and am looking forward to working with the team to help grow our presence across employment law and discrimination.

“This year has been incredibly tough on both employers and employees, but it’s essential that workers understand, and are aware of, their rights. Whether COVID-related or not, employees should be able to access quality, impartial advice so that they are confident they’re being treated fairly.

“Of course, many employers will be doing all they possibly can for their staff during these unprecedented times but, unfortunately, there is a minority that do not act appropriately or fairly. I’m passionate about giving people a real voice and helping them to tackle the bigger issues that stop them from being treated equally.”

As well as employment law, James and his team will work to support clients who may have experienced discrimination, in employment or in any other area of life.

Chris Topping, director at Broudie Jackson Canter, said: “James has an impressive level of experience, particularly within the field of employment law, so we’re confident that he can take this team to the next level.”


North West specialist recruitment company, Four has announced the appointment of Lauren Ellison as head of its business support division.

Lauren brings a wealth of experience to the role, having spent a number of successful years in the field at recruiters Hays and, more recently, Robert Walters.

Reporting to co-owners Claire and Phil Sofield, Lauren will be responsible for growing and developing the division across Lancashire and Greater Manchester, making business support as successful as the company’s more established financial, HR and executive brands.

Lauren Ellison

Lauren’s appointment follows a number of recent key hires at the Bolton-based company, helping to further strengthen its position in the marketplace over the coming months and years.

Co-owner Claire Sofield said: “As soon as we met Lauren we knew she had the expertise and leadership skills we were looking for to head our newly-launched business support division.

“Her energy and desire for success are the qualities needed in this current climate.

“We launched our business support division as we recognised that there was a gap in the market to provide a dedicated and relationship-led approach to recruiting administrative support roles.

“These types of roles are often overlooked and are in fact critical to a business.”

Lauren said: “It’s an incredible opportunity to lead this division and to join such a passionate and proactive organisation.

“Having experienced a career working for large corporates it’s refreshing to be welcomed into an owner-managed business where I can have a real and direct impact on the business and its future growth.”


Accountancy and business advisory firm BDO has announced partner, Angela Cross, as the North West head of tax.

She succeeds Ian Bingham in the role, who will focus on working with BDO’s entrepreneurial clients and high net worth individuals.

This is a positive period of transition for the tax team in the region which continues to go from strength to strength.

Ian has led the team since 2013 when BDO merged with PKF. He held the same position at PKF previously and will now expand his focus on supporting businesses and individuals to achieve their goals.

Angela was promoted to partner in 2017, having joined BDO in 2014. She has been key to developing a strong client base across the North, and more recently has been a member of the firm’s national people board, known internally as the ‘U board’ to reflect the firm’s unifying culture business objective.

Angela Cross with Ed Dwan

Her new position will see her take responsibility for leading the tax team in the North West and continuing to collaborate with Northern colleagues, connecting the region with the rest of BDO’s UK and international network.

Angela Cross said: “Our clients choose us because of our people who deliver great ideas to help them succeed, for their knowledge, their skills, their technical abilities, and their personalities.

“BDO is made up of 350 people in the region who each bring something unique, and I’m committed to celebrating this in my role. Hopefully, I am also an example of the career progression that BDO offers and I’ll continue to nurture an environment in which our talent can thrive.”

Tax partner Ian Bingham added: “I’m looking forward to working with more clients to offer insight in an increasingly complex environment.

“Although these plans for the team have been in place for some time, we couldn’t have planned for the backdrop we’d be working against. Despite the uncertainty, all of the conversations I’m having with businesses and individuals are consistent – people have taken stock this year are reconsidering their ambitions and rethink the strategy they need in place. This means our support and expertise is more needed than ever before.”

Ed Dwan, partner and head of BDO in the North West, said: “Angela’s natural leadership ability and passion for championing BDO’s unified culture made her the ideal candidate to lead our regional tax team through its next chapter.

“I look forward to seeing her make the role her own. Ian has done a fantastic job in driving growth in recent years and making some quality, strategic hires which have strengthened our offering and specialist expertise.”