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Eaga Trust helps former employee go it alone
A YORK gas engineer has set up his own business, funded by his former employer.
Mark Jones, 29, from York, worked for north east energy services business Eaga plc before it was bought by Carillion plc about five years ago.
Mr Jones was made redundant in May, but after applying for a grant, his former business helped him set up his own business.
The Eaga Trust was formed for employees of Eaga to promote employee engagement and ownership. Under the terms of the trust, a skill-builder fund was set up to help finance training, skills and education of employees.
Following the sale of the business to Carillion, the money from the skill-builder fund is now being used to help former employees retrain or set up their own businesses in line with the Eaga model.
It is now offering the money back as employment support through a series of training grants and loans for setting up in business. All 7,500 former employees of Eaga, who worked for the business from January 2000 until it was sold in April 21, 2011, are entitled to register their membership of The Eaga Trust and apply for £1,000.
Fewer than half of them have so far come forward and the trust is appealing for others to get in touch.
Mr Jones said: “The money I received was invaluable.
“I used it to fund a series of training courses which enabled me to expand my skills and increase my qualifications. As a result of I am now able to offer my customers a far greater range of services than I would have otherwise been.”
The Eaga Trust has also launched a business support programme where trust members can also get advice and help with some initial set up costs.
Ashley Dean, chief executive at the Trust, said: “The trust has an unusual history; we aim to make a real difference by promoting employee engagement and ownership in the workplace as well as helping our members in finding fulfilling and rewarding employment where their views, and their efforts at work, really matter to the organisation concerned.
“We think our members who benefit from The Eaga Trust will be keen to replicate the principles, values and model of employee engagement and ownership with their own ventures.”