Scitech empowers Employee Ownership: Highlights from the South East Network Meeting

We were delighted to be invited to attend the Employee Ownership Association’s South East Network Meeting on 7 June, where we hosted a roundtable discussion about being an employee trustee for an employee owned company.

Lewis White, our Mechanical Engineering Team Leader and Trustee of Scitech Trust Limited, and HR Manager Emma Dawas hosted the table of 10 representatives from a range of EO companies. It was particularly interesting hearing others’ views on the role of the trustee, and discussing some of the challenges trustees face at the various stages in the EO journey.

The event brought together representatives from various employee-owned businesses to discuss strategies, share experiences, and explore the benefits of this unique business model.

One of the highlights was the keynote talk delivered by Dame Sharon White, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership (JLP). The founding principles of JLP remain as relevant today as they were when established a century ago.

According to the Employee Ownership Association (EOA), the number of employee-owned businesses in the UK has reached an impressive milestone of 1,300. This significant growth demonstrates the increasing recognition of employee ownership as a sustainable and successful business model.

Employee-owned firm Arup hosted the event. David Whittleton talked of the “high level” of engagement at Arup. Malcolm Clarke, Managing Director of Baxall Construction Ltd, shared his company’s recent journey of becoming an employee-owned organisation. We also heard from RM2, training company People Untapped and Shaw Healthcare. All very different employee-owned businesses debating incentivisation and share schemes.

Scitech is 100% employee-owned which the EOA reported is still the most common model of ownership of those businesses transitioning to EO.

Reflecting on the experience, Lewis said: “We know we are not alone in this journey but it’s not often that you get to hear others’ experiences. Hearing how other companies have had similar journeys to employee ownership and have similar experiences was extremely interesting. There were some fascinating contributions to our table’s discussions affirming the strength and resonance of the employee ownership model. Thank you to everyone for making the event such a worthwhile experience.”

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