Consultant WYG is retraining staff to boost its nuclear capabilities, chief executive Paul Hamer told NCE this week.
He said helping existing engineers gain nuclear qualifications was part of a broader strategy to prepare for a growing pipeline of opportunities in the sector.
This strategy includes looking for high margin specialist companies to acquire.
“We are recruiting quite aggressively in nuclear expertise,” said Hamer. “Finding people with the right credentials is difficult.
“We are also retraining people – if you are a civil engineer you need a nuclear passport; you have to be a suitably qualified and experienced person (SQEP).
“We are blending recruiting and SQEP-ing people,” he said.
Some staff are being given refresher courses, while others are gaining new skills, not having worked in the sector before.
Hamer was speaking as WYG revealed a rise in turnover in the six months to 30 September 2013. Revenue was £63.9M for the six months, up from £61.8M in the same period last year.
The consultant also revealed it had generated positive operating cashflow over 12 months.
This is a breakthrough after WYG was restructured and recapitalised in 2011.
Finance director Sean Cummins said: “The major milestone is delivering the positive operating cashflow over 12 months. That gives us the confidence as a company to move forward, and it happens to coincide with the UK market showing signs of looking up.”
Hamer said the positive cash position would give the company “opportunities to invest” in recruitment and acquisitions.
“If the market continues as it is, we may see a modest uptick in headcount as we move forward,” said Hamer.
He said key sectors for WYG in the UK included defence, justice and urban development.
WYG’s order book stands at £82.6M, up from £77.6M on 31 March.