We are now an Employee-owned business!

Pictured (L-R) are Esteem Training’s Business Development Manager Andy Findlater, circus performer Kat Borrowdale and Esteem Training’s Assessor Rosie Neill in front of Glasgow Central Station

We have always been certain that our talented, dedicated team represents both the beating heart and future success of Esteem Training. And so we are delighted to share with you the exciting news that we are now an employee-owned business.

Wednesday, 16 March 2022 marked Esteem Training’s official ‘Employee Ownership Day’ (EO Day) and we celebrated this landmark achievement with a full morning of team workshops at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow city centre. Never ones to pass up the opportunity for some fun team bonding, we spent the early afternoon learning circus skills under the watchful eye of Circus Sensible before rounding off the day with an informal team photography session followed by dinner at the city’s sophisticated Ivy Restaurant.

We are genuinely thrilled to be the latest successful Scottish business to embrace the future as an employee-owned enterprise – truly the ‘cherry on the cake’ of our 35th anniversary celebrations.

Business as usual

To all intents and purposes, it’s Business as Usual. Our senior management team will remain involved for the foreseeable future though now in the role of employees. Though our inspirational founder Trudy Mackenzie will officially retire at the end of March 2022, she will remain involved on a consultancy basis and will serve as Founder Trustee of the Employee Ownership Trust Board. Nothing will alter our focus or commitment to providing supportive, advanced supervisory and management vocational training for Scotland’s construction and civil engineering professions.

We are fiercely protective of the close, long-term partnerships forged with many leading construction and civil engineering companies. Most recently in Scotland with access funding programmes managed by Skills Development Scotland. Rest assured those close personal working partnerships, focused on providing inclusive supportive mentoring for every candidate, will remain of paramount importance as we embark upon this exciting new chapter in our company’s history.

Productive, engaged, innovative business

Martina Höfner, operations director said: “Ethical business practice, celebrating diversity and nurturing talent to create opportunity lies at the heart of everything that we do. Research has shown that a combination of shared ownership and employee participation results in a business that is more engaged, productive, innovative and sustainable. We’re therefore delighted to make this important move to employee ownership to reward our outstanding team, ensuring that the future direction and ownership of the business remains in their capable hands.”

A group shot of all members of the employee-owned business,  Esteem Training
Esteem Training Photograph © Martin Shields

Grateful for your support

We’re grateful for the positive feedback received from clients, partners, candidates and additional stakeholders – your support means so much.

Group Academy co-ordinator, Leah Scott of Cala Group commented:

“Congratulations to our long-term construction training partners Esteem Training as they again demonstrate innovation and ethical business practice by transitioning to an Employee Ownership Trust.

“At Cala we similarly believe in investing in our teams and recognising talent, commitment and excellence. With Esteem’s experienced management, talented mentors and dedicated support staff remaining in place, we look forward to continuing this mutually-beneficial partnership which delivers award-winning, advanced vocational training for our site management teams.”

Grahame Barn, chief executive of CECA Scotland, (Civil Engineering Contractors Association) added: “Succession planning represents a huge challenge for Scotland’s engineering and construction sectors, and we support those companies who are choosing in increasing numbers to transition to employee ownership (EO). Esteem Training’s EO Trust will reward the invaluable contribution of its staff while safeguarding the future of the business by retaining the existing management team, ensuring the same quality of service to their partners and clients for this high-achieving team during their 35th year.”

All shares in the company previously held by our directors Trudy Mackenzie, Ian Grigg and Martina Höfner have been transferred into an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). Benefits of the transition to EOT include rewarding the contribution of our award-winning team – simultaneously safeguarding job security while ensuring that ownership of another successful independent, growing business remains in Scottish hands.

Professional advisers

The transition to employee ownership was supported by Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS), part of Scottish Enterprise and the arm of Scotland’s enterprise agencies that supports company growth through collaborative and employee ownership business models. To date, there are more than 170 employee-owned businesses operating in Scotland and more than 120 of these are Scottish-headquartered companies.

CDS funded a feasibility study, allowing our three directors to make an informed decision on whether to move to employee ownership. The transition was project-managed by Co-ownership Solutions with legal services from Lindsays and financial input from Time 2 Adapt Limited.

Clare Alexander, head of Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) at Scottish Enterprise, said:

“The move to employee ownership is a first-class way for Esteem Training to celebrate its 35th year in business, as well as giving recognition to the ongoing dedication of its workforce. Companies that embrace more inclusive business models such as employee ownership see higher levels of staff engagement, have much lower staff turnover and are usually more profitable – so it is both a good thing to do from a people perspective and it makes great business sense too.”