Thursday, February 22, 2024
BusinessScottish employee-owned business boom continues as training firm join ranks

Scottish employee-owned business boom continues as training firm join ranks

A CONSTRUCTION training management company has become the latest to join the growing number of employee-owned firms in Scotland. 

With immediate effect, shares in Glasgow-based Esteem Training Limited will leave the hands of founders and directors and head into an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). 

The company believe this move to be a positive step as they say it rewards their dedicated team of workers, safeguards the company’s succession plan and ensures that ownership of a successful Scottish company remains a home affair. 

Esteem employees Andy Findlater and Rosie Neill smile alongside circus performer Kat Borrowdale.

Esteem has entered into long-term vocational training partnerships with leading Scottish construction and civil engineering companies including Cala Group, Bell Group, George Leslie Limited and Haldane Construction services. 

Operations director Martina Höfner said: “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.”

Clare Alexander, head of Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) at Scottish Enterprise, believes the transition is a “first-class” way for Esteem to celebrate its 35th anniversary.

She added: “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.”

There are currently over 170 employee-owned business operating in Scotland, with 120 of these having their headquarters based in the country. 

Based on recent trends, this figure will only continue to grow. Just in the past few weeks, Alan Steel Asset Management, web agency Spider Online and civil engineering contractor Kilmac have all made the shift into workers holding corporate control. 

In February, the Financial Times reported that there are 800 employee-owned businesses in the UK, and 250 of these had transitioned since the start of the first lockdown in March 2020. 

John Lewis and Go Ape are a couple of leading business players who have adopted the model. 

The Employee Ownership Association’s Impact Report says: “There is clear evidence to demonstrate that job security, job satisfaction, and productivity are significantly higher in employee owned businesses compared to traditional companies. 

“Furthermore, employee owned businesses have been shown to be flexible and resilient in times of economic crisis.”

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