“We don’t hire contract workers, we employ our people”

 

André Hofman started at Venko as a project leader carrying out maintenance work on Haringvliet Bridge. In the years that followed, he witnessed how Venko was transformed from a local maintenance firm into a professional, international organisation that remained true to its roots.

 

Maintenance of high-tension pylons

Venko was founded forty years ago, initially devoting itself to maintaining high-tension pylons. As it progressed, it turned to the maintenance of constructions and industrial locations, and eventually to the oil and gas industry as well. I have been working at Venko since 1997; my first project was performing maintenance on the impressive Haringvliet Bridge that links the provinces of Zuid-Holland and Noord-Brabant.

 

Transferring the company to the workforce

In 2003, Venko was transferred to the workforce via a management buy-out. By then, I was manager of the offshore division, so I was able to participate in this. Although things were going well with the firm, the new ownership structure proved far from ideal. There were too many participants to manage the company effectively, and the buy-out had an unintended effect: people soon sold off their shares, whereas the real aim had been that they should feel closer and more loyal to the company. Around 2011, we realised that the new structure was untenable and we started looking for alternatives. Maybe it was coincidence, but at that time Jeroen Quaegebeur from Mentha called me and invited me to have a co