North Sea

Sub $50: ‘I lost my oil job two days before Christmas’

Ross Henderson launched his own business after being made redundant

A north-east man who was made redundant just two days before Christmas has bounced back to launch his own business.

Ross Henderson, 46, was made redundant in December after a slump in the oil and gas market and was forced to consider his options.

Having already established a small enterprise, selling accessories for handheld GPS units, including mapping software and USB cables, the Inverurie man decided against sitting around waiting for a recovery in the energy sector.
Instead, he launched his own portable appliance testing (PAT) and property services business – Donside Property Services.

Mr Henderson, who was backed by Business Gateway Aberdeen City and Shire in his new career, now hopes to provide people in a similar situation to which he found himself with jobs.

Last night, he said he had worked in the oil industry since 1998 before being made redundant.

He added: “When the consultation period started and I saw the work I was doing was being outsourced, I realised my job wasn’t as secure as I had hoped.

“Two days before Christmas, I was called in and made redundant. I spent the next few weeks wondering what to do.

“I thought about applying for jobs, but they were threadbare so I decided to give setting up my own business a go. I looked at what sectors were more stable than oil and gas, and having spent the past three years doing up my own house, property stood out for me.

“Setting up in business was a bit of a kneejerk reaction. But I am enjoying it. Getting inquiries from prospective clients is very exciting as it shows there is a need for the services I offer.”

Mr Henderson’s PAT service has been rolled out since January, whereby he checks on electrical safety and undertakes testing on anything with a plug.

Gillian Burley, an adviser at the Business Gateway, said: “Oil and gas had always been considered a safe sector that provided long-term job security. But the recent crash in the market has resulted in a lot of redundancies.

“Redundancy, although a scary prospect for most people, can open new doors and highlight opportunities, like self-employment, which may not have been considered before.”

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