There have been big changes for Falck Safety Services, now RelyOn Nutec, since it was bought over last summer.
In August, Danish private equity firm Polaris swooped in, buying 100% of shares in the training provider, promising “good opportunities” for growth.
To that end, RelyOn Nutec is planning a seven-figure investment in its Dyce facility starting later this year, and due for completion by the beginning of 2020.
Managing director Duncan Bonner said it shows the new backers were willing to put their money where their mouth is.
He said: “We asked for the investment for this particular project and it went through with flying colours so the proof is in the pudding really. For us that’s positive.
“The past six months have proven that what they said was actually going to happen.
“It’s around capacity and additional capability. It’s recognising there are gaps in our portfolio we want to close and also increasing capacity in some of our existing portfolio. That’s the main driver.
“You’ll always get investment if you get the right business case so we will be looking for further investment from the parent.”
Following the Polaris takeover, Falck rebranded to RelyOn Nutec in order to consolidate global activities under a single banner.
The firm trains around 250,000 people in 20 countries around the world.
Although Falck is an established brand in the north-east of Scotland, Mr Bonner is not concerned about the name-change, and neither, he says, are the people coming through the doors.
“To be honest with you I don’t think they’ve even noticed,” he said.
“They know it’s a different name but that’s about it.
“It’s the same people and the same service. We’re trying to be the best and that’s not going to change.
“It’s about what we are, rather than the name.
“A name is a name at the end of the day and for me it’s more about making sure that people understand what we do and how we do things as well as our values and how we deliver them.
“If we focus on that, the name part doesn’t become an issue.”
Along with the coming expansion, the first few months of 2019 have brought more good news with a modest increase in activity, which Mr Bonner said makes a change from the previous four years.
The company, which has 97 workers across the UK, is now growing in the region, recruiting a handful of staff members in specialist roles which “shows things are moving in the right direction”.
Despite this, Mr Bonner is cautious about the current outlook for the training market.
He added: “I wouldn’t call it an upturn, I wouldn’t go as far as that, but certainly a step in the right direction.
“I think the downturn effect has stabilised. I think we’re seeing a little bit more activity around specific work and as a training provider we’re seeing the knock-on effect of that. There are a lot of small projects and large projects going on in the North Sea at the moment.
“The North Sea is always going to lag behind because it is a high-cost basin compared to some of the others.
“My personal opinion is we will see activity increase, but probably more likely as you go into the tail-end of this year, beginning of next before you see significant uptake, particularly on the drilling side.
“Drilling is the key.
“If we’re not drilling for oil then nothing is going to come on the back end of it.
“I think the operators and the drilling contractors know that as soon as the investment starts getting pumped into drilling, you will start to see a positive, knock-on effect to the rest of the supply chain.”
Despite already having a wide offering in terms of training services, the company is aiming to grow with new industries and new markets.
Mr Bonner said: “We deliver a significant amount in the oil and gas arena and we see crisis management as a significant area for growth globally but certainly driven out of the UK as a lot of the expertise obviously sits here.
“Renewables is something that is largely done in the north-east of England at the moment and renewables is something we’ll maybe look at in other parts of the UK.
“We are looking at how we can take some of the stuff we’re doing in oil and gas and renewables and take that to other industries.”