Company staff meeting 13 August 2020

Company staff meeting 13 August 2020

We held our first ever online staff update meeting last week.

Staff joined in on MS Teams from around the country.

Watch the recording highlights:

Executive chairman Sean Fitzpatrick welcomed everyone, especially our new starters.

Managing director Laurence Mckidd described how an excellent start to the year was abruptly changed in March. The virus caused our sales to drop sharply, particularly in our labour business and Cole Hire. Over 700 people had to be furloughed; however, the IT team arranged for almost all remaining office staff to work from home.

Group services director Ciara Pryce explained the steps which the leadership team has taken to keep people safe and maintain VGC as a sustainable business. She thanked people who have continued to deliver, as well as those who accepted a pay reduction to help support the company.

graph showing innovations portal submissions
Innovations portal submissions

Director Chris Ryan demonstrated the success of the innovations portal, especially the recruitment webinars. He urged more people to send in suggestions and ideas for ways we can keep improving. He and business support manager Ciaran Alstowe are looking for volunteers to take part in VGC videos – if anyone is interested, please email

Ciara then answered questions which staff had sent in, and Chris described the company’s new digitalisation strategy, which will include a new resourcing database which will allow us to go paperless.

Laurence set out the plans in case of a second wave.

Head of HR Laura Perry talked about plans for the VGC Academy. We have applied for a CITB leadership and management grant which we hope will allow us to offer courses to more staff; it was described by Balfour Beatty as ‘industry best practice’.

Business development director Stephen Burns showed some of the future opportunities for the company, and Laurence talked about plans for developing VGC further.

John Daly
John Daly

Sean paid tribute to John Daly, who lost his life to COVID-19 in May.

Ciara congratulated staff who have achieved promotions and qualifications, as well as those who went above and beyond for other people, and everyone who carried on doing their best for VGC and our clients.

Laurence thanked everyone who took part in the meeting. He said: “The next six to twelve months are going to be very challenging. Through working together as a team who want to improve we will work through this and be a strong successful business.”

thank you and valuesIf anyone has any questions after the meeting, please email

Director thanks

The directors thanked staff for their support.

“Everyone has worked together to deal with this crisis, which has changed daily. Although many uncertainties still exist, VGC will come out of this in a stronger position, to take advantage of all the opportunities in an ever-changing market.

“I would like to thank you all for your tenacity, patience and co-operation.”

Managing director Laurence Mckidd

“Faced with VGC’s biggest challenge, our team was quick to adapt, innovate and find solutions to complex issues.

“Our company values, along with the extraordinary VGC team, provide an amazing platform to grow over the next few years.”

Group services director Ciara Pryce

“I am proud of how quickly everyone has adapted to the challenges this pandemic has presented. We have kept the majority of our sites live, safe and operational throughout lockdown.

“In many ways we have become more efficient and are working closer as a team.”

Projects director Jacques Kriel

“With the right focus we can innovate quickly, overcome problems and work together as a team. We need to become more agile – we may not have started addressing this if it weren’t for the current situation. We have managed to build relationships over MS Teams and drive changes in mindsets by working as a collective rather than in silos.”

Director Chris Ryan