Score Group’s Conrad Ritchie has ended his 32-year career at the firm after the family business was sold to private equity company SCF Partners.
Mr Ritchie, who led the business through the last oil and gas downturn, handed in his resignation in December after the business was sold for £120 million.
For the last six months he had remained with the firm in a consultancy role.
But now after more than 30 years his time has come to an end.
Score Group is renowned for its work with apprentices across the north-east, employing hundreds of youngsters straight out of school.
And Mr Ritchie confessed that the programme all started with him.
He said: “It is quite a wrench to be moving on but I am looking forward to the future.
“Clearly I have a very strong connection to the business historically and more importantly the teams of people that make it work.
“The company started when I was 10 years old and I have been hands-on ever since. However, I officially started as an apprentice when I was 16. I was the company’s first apprentice.”
Following completion of his apprenticeship he spent time in Norway running the facilities there.
He then took on roles within asset management, turbine repair and maintenance and fuel systems and gas turbines.
He said he has always enjoyed being hands-on with people and helping them develop their careers further and that is where he wants to focus his skills.
He said: “I have a great deal of experience with apprenticeships and I want to share that and help give people a positive destination in life.
“I have 32 years’ experience with the company, starting right at the bottom and working my way up. You only get out if you put in and in most cases giving your time to people and start-up businesses can be very, very rewarding.
“I am looking for the right opportunities to try to make that a reality, maybe on a non-executive board somewhere.”
No resting on laurels as former director looks to charitable work
Conrad Ritchie said his charitable work was going to be a major focus for him in the coming weeks and months.
As well as preparing to reopen the Peterhead Prison Museum, he has also committed to helping people suffering with mental health issues through the Crimond Medical Charitable Trust.
Both charities are supported by his family.
He said: “At the moment I am focusing on my charitable responsibilities which is the Peterhead Prison Museum and the Crimond Medical Charitable Trust. I have been doing a lot of work with them remotely and we’re getting the museum ready to open up again on July 15.
“That has been taking up a bit of my time recently and it will continue to do so.
“Just before the lockdown I volunteered up to be a mental health counsellor with Charlie’s Space. It’s a mental health support group which operates out of the Crimond Charitable Trust building. They started up a year ago but the demand has been huge. It’s something I have wanted to get involved in but because of the lockdown it has been difficult.”
Mr Ritchie said the cause is particularly important to him having witnessed the struggles of many of his apprentices over the years and the stigma attached to it.
He added: “If you take men’s mental health, in my past life at Score, obviously we had a lot of apprentices and I was very much aware of a lot of the stigma around mental health and sadly one of our apprentices committed suicide last year.
“So it kind of brought it to the forefront of my mind in terms of thinking about how I can help.
“There are remote sessions being rolled out at the moment but because I haven’t had the official training it has meant I haven’t been able to get involved but that will change in the weeks to come.”