Employment, skills and rehabilitation specialist Seetec marks its 35th anniversary
Since the company was founded in Essex in 1984 offering computer skills training, the skills and employment landscape has undergone seismic change. Group MD, John Baumback embodies Seetec’s adaptability and flexibility. As a former apprentice with the company, he knows more than most the need for innovation and to embrace change:
Agility is the key to Seetec’s success. Working in the fast and constantly changing world of employment and skills, the company has adapted quickly to seize new opportunities.
Starting in business as an IT pioneer, Seetec offered computer and software engineering skills training when the digital revolution was in its infancy. The company branched into writing and selling software, tapping new markets such as GP practices and healthcare providers.
Starting with the fledgling business as an apprentice a month after it was established, I progressed to become a trainer, software developer, and even ran forklift truck training on my way to becoming IT Director.
When Seetec won the contract to run community rehabilitation services in Kent, Surrey and Sussex and opened a new Justice Division, I became its Managing Director.
This fleetness of foot, throughout the senior team, is what keeps Seetec ahead of the game. The company experienced seismic growth when it won three Government contracts for the Work Programme and transformed to become a major provider of employment services.
From an £18 million a year business 20 years ago, Seetec has seen exponential growth, increasing turnover by a factor of ten and, with the acquisition of West Country-based disability support provider Pluss earlier this year, seeing staff numbers rise to 2,400.
It hasn’t always been plain sailing and the toughest part has come when changes to Government contracts have meant making staff redundant.
I’ve grown up with the business and there have been some massive challenges, making changes we didn’t want to make.
It’s been vital to practice what we preach and place our people at the heart of our business, supporting and investing in them to take responsibility for their own lifelong learning.
This commitment to its people saw Seetec achieving the Gold Investors in People Award in 2016 and 2018, as well as the IiP’s Health and Wellbeing award.
Our staff have had to adapt to significant changes of gear. It’s very easy to talk about embracing change, but experiencing it is very different.
Seetec is well positioned to thrive for the next 35 years, continuing to seize new opportunities.
Our people are our greatest asset. We’ve got people in the business with that flexibility and ability to adapt to what is needed.
John Baumback, Group Managing Director, Seetec