Meet the Team

Our Strategic Leadership Team is dedicated to supporting our clients, people and stakeholders.

With an exceptional level of experience, they work collaboratively to oversee all aspects of the business to deliver growth and innovation according to a clear set of company values.

Sean Fitzpatrick


Following a first career teaching maths and computing in the 1970’s, Sean along with his then business partner, Bart Keaney, set up the VGC Group in 1977. They subsequently spent the next few decades growing the business.

In his current role as chairman, Sean supports the leadership team to ensure the business strategy meets the long-term ambitions of the Group. He has always upheld the highest professional and ethical standards, and his previous career in teaching has underpinned VGC’s philosophy of investing in learning and development to create our industry leaders of the future.

Sean is married with 4 daughters & 8 grandchildren, enjoys holidaying in the Algarve and watching rugby. 

Laurence Mckidd

Chief Executive

After training as a civil engineer, Laurence worked as a project director for Balfour Beatty before joining VGC to establish our rail business. He was later promoted to Managing Director and became CEO in 2021.

He has been part of many changes over the years and particularly likes to see how technology can move the company forward.

Laurence enjoys watching Newcastle United, playing golf and running, having completed several marathons. 

Ciara Pryce

Chief Operating Officer

Although she has officially worked for VGC since 2002, Ciara has been visiting the office since she was a toddler, with her dad, Sean Fitzpatrick.

Having qualified with a master’s in human resource management, she initially joined the business overseeing HR, training, and corporate social responsibility. She later moved into broader strategic management roles.

Ciara has a busy life outside VGC, being mum to two young boys, and helping out with her husband’s craft beer shop business. 

Chris Hoyle

Finance Director

Chris gained extensive experience in the professional services and construction sector with Turner & Townsend working in New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and Leeds, before joining VGC as Finance Director in 2022.

He has been pivotal in creating financial efficiencies and driving the current digital transformation strategy that will help accelerate business growth.

A keen musician, Chris plays both the cornet and trumpet and has performed at many prestigious venues, including the Royal Albert Hall. He loves to travel with his wife,and has visited over 60 countries. 

Chris Ryan

Managing Director,
VGC Labour Solutions

Chris began working for VGC in 2003, initially on CTRL (High Speed 1) and then on various regional projects in Darlington, Sheffield, Bletchley and Folkstone.

With involvement in tendering, business development, project delivery and commercial management, Chris has swiftly moved up the ranks and was promoted to Managing Director in 2021 overseeing the management of all our recruitment activities including trades & labour, professional, technical & managerial roles covering contracting and permanent placements.

Chris is married with two children, and enjoys cricket, football, rugby and music. 

Jacques Kriel

Managing Director,
VGC Projects

Jacques qualified as a civil engineer in South Africa before moving to the UK to work in construction management.

He joined VGC as Rail Director in 2013 and became Managing Director of VGC Projects in 2021. Jacques enjoys working on problem-solving innovations for VGC and the wider industry.

Outside work, he loves sports, running ultramarathons, and spending time with his wife and three children. 

Stephen Burns

Client Engagement Director

Stephen has had a broad career covering recruitment, construction and sales prior to moving into the business development role at VGC.

In his current role as client engagement director, he oversees the management of our key account relationships and supports our clients in identifying solutions to their staffing and contracting needs. 

When he’s not developing VGC’s client base and exploring new areas for our business to grow into, he enjoys walking in the Scottish highlands and Lake District and exploring all the varied landscapes the UK has to offer.