Lavender International NDT, a global provider of non-destructive testing (NDT) services with its headquarters in Sheffield, is preparing for the dawn of an exciting new era, as the business embarks on its succession plan – leaving the business in the very capable hands of 39 employees.
After over 40 years working in the NDT industry, Dave Lavender, one of the business’ original founders and last remaining Lavender still working in the business, is retiring. As part of the business’ succession plans, Lavender International became an employee-owned business in 2015, making all of the employees at Lavender co-owners in the business.
It is a move that Dave believes will safeguard the future of both the business as a whole, its values, and its employees, as Lavender International pledges to continue to deliver the highest levels of service in NDT training. “We recognised that employee ownership was the only way that the people we built this great company with would be looked after properly when we, as a family, had finally stepped down. We desperately didn’t want the business to be sold to an unknown party, so I’m incredibly happy that I’m leaving the business in the most capable hands: its employees.
“I have no doubt in my mind that the team will remain faithful to the core values Lavender was founded on: Quality, flexibility and trust.”
Dave’s NDT career truly began in 1976 with the foundation of J.D. Partnership, which Jack, Dave and Joyce Lavender set up to provide NDT services, with a focus on testing and training. Today, it now offers training and support programmes across the world from international locations such as the USA, Greece, South Africa and Canada.
Tim Armitt, managing director at Lavender International, said: “Dave’s departure from the business is a historical milestone for Lavender. It’s the end of an incredible era, but also the dawn of exciting new beginnings. Whilst Dave is the last remaining Lavender in the business, all of the team here are Lavender through and through and will work together to build on his legacy, growing the business and providing high-quality NDT training and apprenticeships to businesses and individuals worldwide.”
Dave credits the success of the business to hard work, a ‘can do’ attitude, and sharing his commitment to this attitude and work ethos with every member of the team – a result of handpicking each individual Lavender employee and providing them with the opportunities and encouragement to flourish in a positive working environment.
Looking ahead to exciting times, Tim concludes: “2018 is the Year of Engineering, so we can’t think of a better time to throw ourselves behind our industry and make a real impact with a passion and commitment that we hope will make all of our founding partners proud. The Lavender of today is forward-thinking, outward-facing and driven to continue to succeed on both a national and international scale. We have some exciting plans for this year, and all of my fellow co-owners are behind our collective ambition to cement our position as a strong voice in our industry.”