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Warwick Farewell - Alex Sproat

Obituary - Alex Sproat (1948 - 2007)

Alex Sproat, the founding director of Jobs.ac.uk, has died after a struggle with cancer.

Alex joined the University in 1985 and worked in Personnel Services for most of his almost 20 years at Warwick.

He was Deputy to Jim Brandt, the then Director of Human Resources, and was noted for his cheerful and reflective manner, this in no small part responsible for building up a particularly good relationship with the trade unions.

Alex was an impressive snooker player and could often be found challenging colleagues and friends to a game in the evening in the Rootes Social Building. After his retirement he also became a keen golfer.

Prior to joining the University Alex worked for the Met Office and subsequently as a Personnel Officer at Reading Borough Council and North-East Derbyshire District Council.

In 1995 Alex created Unitemps, the online temporary staff agency enabling students to finance themselves during their time at university, whilst adding to their transferable skills. The agency provides the University, and other regional employers, with a unique pool of enthusiastic, well motivated and intelligent temporary staff.

In 1998 Alex founded Jobs.ac.uk, the specialist jobsite for careers in academic, research, science and related professions. Alex's innovative idea came from the realisation that traditional recruitment channels were becoming expensive and ineffective. The idea was then taken up by the Universities Advertising Group (UAG) - a consortium of 37 UK institutions, responsible for the procurement of cost effective recruitment advertising to the HE sector.

Alex worked at building up the business until 2004 when he retired from the University. The business is now the top recruitment site in the higher education sector, attracting the most qualified and talented people from the UK, Europe and across the world. So successful was the idea that similar approaches to recruitment can now be found throughout the public sector.

Alex will be sadly missed by his friends and colleague in the Warwick community and our sympathies are with his wife Karen and their children.

Alex's Brief Encounter Interview