Construction training specialist becomes employee-owned enterprise

The Esteem Training team gathered in Glasgow to celebrate their move to Employee Ownership, including a fun circus skills workshop

CONSTRUCTION management training specialist Esteem Training has announced it has become an employee-owned enterprise as the business marks its 35th anniversary.

With immediate effect, shares in Glasgow-based Esteem Training, previously owned by founder and director Trudy Mackenzie and fellow directors Ian Grigg and Martina Höfner, have been transferred into an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).

Esteem said the benefits of the transition include rewarding employees and safeguarding job security while ensuring that ownership remains in Scottish hands. The senior management team will remain involved with the business for the foreseeable future – though now in the role of employees.

Esteem Training enjoys advanced vocational training partnerships with major construction and civil engineering companies including Cala Group, Bell, CCG, George Leslie and Haldane Construction Services through funding programmes managed by Skills Development Scotland.

Martina Höfner, Esteem Training’s 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.”

Group academy co-ordinator, Leah Scott of Cala Group, added, “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, commented, “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.”

The transition was supported by Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS), part of Scottish Enterprise. CDS funded a feasibility study, allowing Esteem’s leadership to make an informed decision on whether to move to employee ownership.

Clare Alexander, head of 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.”