CK Aspire exhibiting at OCT Europe

CK Groups functional outsourcing division, CK Aspire, will be attending the Outsourcing in Clinical Trials event in Brussels on 20-21st May.

The event brings together senior representatives to discuss the latest challenges within clinical outsourcing, such as vendor sourcing, selection and contracting, as well as communication, oversight and management. This high profile event is the perfect forum for discussion giving industry leaders the opportunity to share best practice, innovation and personal experiences.

CK Aspire will be exhibiting in the main hall and will be on hand to talk about some of the innovative case studies that have been delivered including Real World Evidence studies, Drug Safety, Biometrics, Medical Writing and Synthetic Chemistry outsourcing.

If you would like to attend, click here to register
 If you would like to arrange a meeting with one of our CK Aspire colleagues email Andy Watt on or call on +44 (0) 1483 768 718

CK Group launch specialist engineering division

The CK Group is delighted to announce the launch of our new division, CK Engineers, which is dedicated to the recruitment of highly skilled engineering professionals within the scientific industries. The CK Group is a leading recruitment organisation with over 23 years experience providing services to the pharmaceutical, chemical, life sciences, waste, food, aerospace and related industries. Our team of dedicated consultants aim to provide an excellent service to clients and candidates in the engineering sector.

The new division has been launched in response to increasing demand from clients and candidates for a recruitment offering with particular focus on engineering within the scientific industries. It will complement the existing recruitment divisions within the CK Group: CK Science, CK Clinical and CK IT.

Liam O Connell, Operations Director at the CK Group says of the new division, ‘Having dealt with scientists and engineers for over 23 years I have gained a real appreciation for their expertise and dedication to their chosen professions and as such I am delighted and very excited by the launch of CK Engineers. We have recognised that the demand for highly skilled engineers is continuing to increase within the scientific industry and as such aim to meet this demand by establishing a team of dedicated staff to focus solely on this sector”

The CK Group has an enviable reputation for customer service, professionalism and expertise and with a candidate database of over 70,000, CK Engineers has all the recipes to be extremely successful.

Visit CK Engineers for more information


REC bids for changes to STEM student visas

The House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee has published a report on International STEM students which has included recommendations made by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.

Recommendations made by the REC were based on evidence they had collected which highlighted the struggle to fill key, in-demand STEM positions across the UK, traditional filled by international candidates. The change in international student VISA’s has seen far fewer applicants for specialist STEM positions resulting in vital skills gaps. The desperate need for a wider pool of talent to ensure UK businesses can continue to forge ahead formed the basis of the REC’s recent advice to the House of Lords.

The recommendations, which included the reinstatement of the Post Study Route, are being considered so the struggle to fill specialist STEM jobs may soon be over.

Contact CK to discus your recruitment needs

Latest report on jobs from the KPMG/REC released

The latest KPMG/REC report on jobs has now been released and it makes for very positive reading for the science and clinical sector. The increase in both permanent and temporary recruitment continues unabated, with employers investing in staff as their market-based confidence grows.

This news reflects what CK Aspire is seeing on a day to day basis with more and more scientific and pharmaceutical companies contacting us for outsourcing support. As the market continues to become more buoyant, budgets for new projects and clinical trials are being released increasing the need for resourcing support.

With CK Aspires core deliverables centralising around innovation, value for money and a partnership approach, growing businesses are recognising the value in flexible labour solutions to gain much needed ground in research and development.

For more information or to discuss your needs contact us

CK Group a top SME

CK Group is one of North Derbyshire’s top 50 SME’s according to research undertaken by Barber Harrison & Platt (BHP), a local chartered accountants. Contributing to an annual turnover of £633 million and the employment of nearly 4300 people, CK Group is proud to have become a central part of the economic growth of the region.

With three regional offices across the UK, CK Group are the owners of three recruitment brands – CK Science, CK Clinical and CK IT which specialise in the recruitment of scientific, pharmaceutical and technical roles across the UK and Europe.

CK Group has big plans in place for 2014, including responding to global recruitment demands, establishing our position as a leader in workforce outsourcing solutions and launching a new, dedicated Engineering division.

CKA Group awarded for science

CKA Group’s commitment to high performance has once again been recognised by Kelly’s Services who have awarded us with the 2013 Supplier Excellence Award for Science.

With a long history of working with Kellys providing recruitment services, CKA Group Managing Director, Jonathan Hart Smith said, “ CKA Group take great pride in the partnership we have with Kelly Services, and our honoured that they consistently recognise our hard work but have awarded us with this amazing accolade for the second year in a row.”

Having been benchmarked and awarded against tough criteria which included our cost, compliance and performance metrics in the following areas:

  1. Professionalism
  2. Responsiveness
  3. Quality
  4. Problem Resolution
  5. Partnership
  6. Innovation

The EMEA Supplier Excellence Award Ceremony takes place on Monday 31st March, and representatives from CKA Group will be there to accept the accolade.

FSO Drug Safety case study released

Our flexible Functional Service Outsourcing enables you to outsource specific services or functions of your business to cover projects or departments when demand requires, without losing ownership of your budget, output or quality control.

So far our FSO solution has delivered projects in the following areas:

  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Laboratory Management and services
  • Clinical Research and Operations
  • Drug Safety and Pharmacovigilance
  • Medical Information
  • Medical Writing
  • Biometrics

Read our case study on a tailored project we delivered for a Drug Safety company.

If you would like to find out more about our Functional Service Outsourcing solution please contact us on 01438 743 047 or email

CK Aspire welcomes a new team member


Andy will work closely with clients to provide them with effective resourcing solutions such as Function Service Outsourcing (FSO) or Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) in order to help them with their head count challenges.

Andy has extensive experience in the scientific and clinical recruitment industries having worked for several years at Roche and AstraZeneca, as such the CK Group are very happy to have him on the team.


Watch Andy’s meet the team video here

CK Group semi finalists for award

CK Group, owners of CK Aspire and the other specialist recruitment consultancies CK Clinical, CK IT and CK Science, have been nominated as semi finalists for the Kellys Services 2013 Supplier Excellence Awards.

Click here to read more

Founder of CK Group Finalist for Business Personality of the Year Award

CK Group founder, Ashley Kirk has been selected as a finalist for the 2013 Derbyshire Times Business Personality of the Year award.

Ashley set up CK Group with business partner, Liam O’Connell over 20 years ago. Based at its head office in Chesterfield, the company focusses on the recruitment of Scientific, Clinical and IT recruitment. The group has flourished over the years to become one of the largest specialist recruitment companies in the UK. It now has a turnover of over £20 million, employs 51 staff and is expanding into Europe.

Ashley is responsible for the strategic direction of the CK Group and has direct responsibility for the group’s support function and for high value accounts. His forward thinking and visionary approach has seen the completely reorganisation of  core teams from finance, marketing, HR and screening; as well as the implementation of new service offerings resulting in an increase in turnover of over 100% in the last 3 years.

Ashley’s approach to business has ensured that the CK Group is an enjoyable and supportive  place to work, offering excellent training and prospects for its staff whilst providing a trusted and respected service to clients and candidates

The awards ceremony takes place on Thursday 21st November at Chesterfield football club. So, like us, keep your fingers crossed for Ashley!