What being a 100% Employee Owned Trust means to Itec
Ceri Murphy, Itec Managing Director, explains the journey of transferring to employee-ownership, the benefits for employees and the business and how Itec’s people are involved and invested in Itec’s present and future.
Stephen Doyle, our Chairman, and I first took over the business in 2008 and we began the ongoing initiative to improve the quality and performance of Itec’s services. We now have 17 centres across Wales and England and have grown exponentially from 30 staff to 170 direct employees who all benefit from the Employee Owned Trust (EOT) model.
Why did you choose the Employee-Owned Trust model?
We are very proud of the fact that in 2019 Itec became the first Welsh independent training provider to be employee owned, with 100% of the business now owned by our employee-owners. For Steve and I, the shift to the EOT model was very organic. We always viewed Itec as a team, we’re a people-oriented business ultimately and without our people we wouldn’t be the same. We knew what the risks and the challenges were of being employee owned, but it was right for Itec.
One of the driving motivations for us implementing the Employee Owned Trust (EOT) model was the fact that Steve and I wanted to encourage a culture of unity.
No matter who you are, whatever level you are in the business you have an equal stake as everyone else. It’s a means of retaining and rewarding our staff for the hard work that they do, and they can share the success of the company as a whole.
How has the EOT model impacted Itec?
For us, I think that implementing the EOT model has been an organisational and cultural change and a continuing journey. We are always educating our employees around what it means to have that personal stake in the organisation and how their work contributes and benefits the wider business. The model has been a vehicle for creating an additional layer of communication from the bottom up.
Employee ownership models have grown in the business marketplace quite substantially over the last couple of years and significantly since we’ve implemented this model. There’s a lot of research that suggests that employee-owned businesses have better performance, better experiences, and are more robust and more resilient to the marketplace. For Itec, our employees say it makes their work more purposeful because the success of the business can be translated into personal accomplishment and growth.
Putting an organisation in the hands of employees who share the same values, culture, and ethos of its founders, really does shape the independence of that organisation, and shapes the security of the company long term.
What’s next for Itec?
Itec’s goals for the future are to maintain and build on our people-centred culture and be the place that people aspire to come and work for by creating amazing opportunities for the people who contribute the most to the business. Ultimately, our main goal is to continue to deliver our contracts, including the new Jobs Growth Wales+ programme, because they make such a massive difference to people’s lives in the communities that we work in.
This year we are celebrating our 40th year of operation and I hope that I get invited back to the 60th anniversary and that it’s still growing and thriving, and that Itec is still creating jobs, building careers, and investing in people.