Nov 2013 – Oil and Gas UK chief executive officially opens Scopus Engineering Training Academy

Oil and Gas UK chief executive officially opens Scopus Engineering Training Academy

Scopus Engineering has increased turnover from £7.1m to £20.6m largely as a result of introducing its own training academy to tackle a skills shortage. Now the Aberdeen-based business, which provides dimensional control survey services to the global oil and gas industry, has announced an investment of more than £100,000 to open a new training facility – five years after the launch of the initial centre which is exclusively used to train its own staff.

The company has transferred the academy into larger, bespoke premises that have been officially opened by Malcolm Webb, chief executive of Oil & Gas UK. More than 100 Scopus Engineering staff have been trained at the centre and 95% of those who completed the training programme have remained with the business.

The company employs 255 people, including surveyors, engineers, and 2D and 3D draughtsmen, with the majority of the team based in Aberdeen. The business plans to recruit an additional 30 people in the next six months.

Earlier this year, Scopus Engineering announced a £13m investment from Growth Capital Partners (GCP) for a minority stake in the business, with founders and directors, Andy Inglis and Tom Bryce, remaining as majority shareholders. John Forrest, a former senior vice-president with Talisman Energy, was appointed non-executive chairman following the investment from GCP.

In addition, Scopus Engineering recently appointed Mark Fraser as chief financial officer, bringing a wealth of UK and international finance expertise to the business.

Scopus Engineering said it is targeting a further 100% rise in turnover within the next three years. The company increased turnover by 37% this year – up from £15m to £20.6m for its latest financial year-end.

Andy Inglis said:

“The introduction in 2008 of the training facility – believed to be the first of its kind in the world – has directly contributed to a near-trebling of our turnover and has transformed the business. We simply would not have achieved the levels of growth of the past five years had we not invested in the training centre. It solved a major skills shortage issue which was preventing us from growing.

“While I’m aware every business is different, this model has worked extremely well for Scopus Engineering, broadening our capability to become an international company. We move forward with confidence in the knowledge we have the right people, with the right skills and the right resources.

Tom Bryce said:

“Many of our recruits come from a civil engineering background, but there is no further education course available in the UK to train people for the type of work we do offshore. This latest investment in the academy allows us to increase the number of Scopus people we can train and, therefore, continue with the strategy to develop the business.”

Malcolm Webb, Oil & Gas UK’s chief executive, said:

“Scopus Engineering is a great example of a dynamic engineering company working in the UK offshore oil and gas industry. I am delighted to be involved in launching this new facility which is dedicated to the development of the strong and growing workforce at Scopus Engineering, an organisation which clearly understands the vital link between excellent people and excellent business. I commend everyone involved in this far-sighted and important investment.”

Wireline Spring 2014
A feature article about a recent graduate of the academy can be found in the Spring 2014 issue of the oil and gas industry magazine : Wireline Issue 227 (external website) >

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