December 2017 VGC company update

At this month’s staff meeting the senior directors looked back at a very successful 2017.

Our chairman, Sean Fitzpatrick, thanked everyone for their contributions to the year.

He pointed out that everyone’s individual contribution is part of our shared success.

The 2017 budgeted sales figure of £76 million was a huge challenge, and it’s remarkable that that we are forecasting results very near to this figure. Not many companies can show that level of professionalism: it represents a tremendous achievement. More importantly, by working together we’re keeping VGC profitable.

Sean welcomed new starters, and welcomed back Elaine, Kerry and Hayley, who have returned to work after maternity leave. He also congratulated Aasim Khan, who joined VGC’s graduate engineer programme in 2014, on his promotion to section engineer.

Laurence Mckidd reaffirmed Sean’s comments: the five businesses across the VGC Group have all done remarkably well.

As managing director, he pointed out that this sort of success doesn’t just happen overnight. Rather, it represents a great deal of hard work operationally and also behind the scenes.

The profits are being reinvested in the business, in recruiting more people, training and developing the people we have, and in technology to support our business. This is how VGC will continue its planned, structured growth.

HS2 is going to have a big impact on the UK construction industry. The Olympics and Crossrail have raised the standards for equality, diversity and inclusion for the industry. However, HS2 will be a total game-changer, and this will play to VGC’s considerable strengths.

Group services director Ciara Pryce noted the teamwork that went into delivering improvements and innovations.

In addition to day-to-day responsibilities, our people have been working on numerous projects to improve our services.

For example, IT, finance, payroll, commercial, procurement and operational teams worked together on the finance upgrade. Months of preparation led to a seamless weekend upgrade. Other teams have been working together to get a number of systems online, including key influencer records, holiday bookings, whistleblowing and electronic registrations.

Our industry-leading corporate social responsibility programmes have been verified against the BRE Ethical Labour Standard. Our schools engagement programme continues and we now have three trained FIR (fairness, inclusion and respect) ambassadors. We have also increased our apprenticeship programme from seven to 40 people.

Plans for 2018 include using technology to make our processes more efficient, including the new labour database, expected to go live in the spring. We will also review and refresh fleet management and our Be Safe by Choice behavioural safety programme.

Charity update

VGC staff have raised over £3,000 for Samaritans since March. Activities included karaoke and dress down days; David McCracken cycled Pedal for Scotland and Chelsey Crabb is going to do an Icelandic Lava trek in July.

Long service awards

Sean then presented long service awards to:

  • Dai Williams – five years
  • Heena Chatrath – five years
  • James Burke – five years
  • Jimmy Callaghan – five years in head office (six years on site for VGC before this)
  • Sam Balasundaram – 10 years
  • Andy Rogers – 10 years
  • Marilu Pittelli – 10 years

Finally, the directors repeated their thanks for the work in 2017, and wished everyone a happy Christmas.

You can download a pdf version of the slides (1mb pdf) from the update meeting here.

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