Mark Harrison, Director of Seetec EmployabilityMark Harrison is Seetec’s Executive Director for Employability

“Agile, life-changing, impactful” – that’s how Mark Harrison describes Seetec Employability; the department he heads up in his role as director.

With almost 30 years of experience under his belt, Mark really knows the difference our support can make to people’s lives.

We interrupted his busy schedule for a chat about all things employability, Seetec, and his plans for the year ahead.

What does being the Director of Seetec Employability mean to you?

“Seetec is all about offering the very best service to empower and upskill our participants into sustainable employment,” he tells us.

“I’m personally really invested in employability as I started as a frontline adviser with Jobcentre in 1995, three weeks before my 18th birthday.

“It was a temporary, six-week job that my auntie and grandma found me as they worked there at the time.

“I enjoyed it so much that the rest is history,” he reminisces. “I’ve worked at all levels from an employment adviser to a centre manager, operations manager to my current position.

“Now, I want to be able to give my colleagues the same growth opportunities that I had.

Photo of Mark

“Hopefully I can bring the best from my experience, learning from both the good and the difficult during my career journey.

“By listening to my colleagues (who, as an employee-owned company, are also our owners), I hope to build a place where people enjoy coming to work and can truly make a difference.”

What are your personal highlights so far?

“There are numerous highlights,” Mark peruses, trying to count them all on his fingers. “Over the last year our employment services have supported over 16,500 people into work and many more have received our support.

“It’s something I’m really proud of,” he smiles.

“We are recognised as one of the top performers on Restart Scheme, both as the prime provider in the Southwest and as a subcontractor in London, Central, Eastern England and the Northwest.

“In 2023, we celebrated the end of our successful Work and Health Programme (WHP) JETS, where we helped over 21,000 people into work following Covid.

“We’ve seen our WHP extension build momentum over the year and we’re delighted that our performance has exceeded expectations.

Plus we’ve seen the introduction of WHP Pioneer which takes a ‘work-first’ approach and allows us to identify self-referrals. We hope this will be just as successful.”

Mark’s pride in the success of the team’s work is tangible.

“We also have a brand-new Individual Placement and Support (IPS) service called Working Well Norfolk – our first contract as a prime contractor in the east of England,” he adds.

“Initial performance has been really positive and we’re enjoying a fantastic relationship with Norfolk County Council. We hope this can be a platform to grow IPS services elsewhere in the country.

There’s no stopping Mark now as he continues to reel off highlight after highlight.

Mark Harrison (pictured right) with members of the Group Executive Board“We’ve worked extremely hard to gain our Armed Forces ‘Gold’ Award which means we are pro-actively supporting colleagues from the armed forces community.

“And at the start of the year, we achieved full assurance from DWP on our Provider Assurance Testing. I believe we were the first provider to achieve this status following the changes to the process.

“We’re also very proud to be a Disability Confident leader and work closely with thousands of employers to support them with inclusive recruitment and encouraging them to be a socially responsible employer.”

What makes Seetec the company it is today?

Without hesitation, Mark tells us: “That’s a simple one for me to answer: my colleagues!

“Without the dedication and passion of colleagues living our vision and values, Seetec wouldn’t be able to do what we do. My colleagues give 100% and make a huge difference to people’s lives every single day.”

What do you feel are the key priorities and opportunities for the year ahead?

“Quite simply, it’s continuing to have a positive impact on people’s lives by supporting as many people as possible into employment,” he says.

“We have a clear growth strategy to help us achieve our vision and to increase our footprint across the UK.

“Working closely with our partners and stakeholders at a local level is at the heart of our ethos. It’s critical for us to meet local priorities, to be agile and flex to local need. And not forgetting the possibility of a change of government and new employment strategies being implemented.

“We wish to be a credible ‘voice at the table’, where the views of our employee owners and participants can be heard to influence and shape the future of employability.”

And finally, which three words would you use to describe Seetec Employability?

“Agile, life-changing, impactful (ok, that’s actually four!!),” he laughs.

“As a business we have to be agile, adapting to the market and needs of local communities; creating opportunities out of bumps in the road and diversions along the way.

“And because everything we do is life-changing to our participants who have faced significant barriers, but the impact is so much wider.

“It spreads across families, communities, local businesses and society and improves productivity of the whole country.”


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