Jason Legget talks about his recent appointment as Project Director of Scaleup North East, a significant programme led by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), and delivered by RTC North which aims to work with over 1,000 firms, helping them to scale and create jobs – ultimately contributing to the NELEP’s plan to deliver 100,000 more and better jobs by 2024.
NRG, the leading North East headquartered recruitment company, were appointed by RTC North to find a Programme Director to lead and deliver a programme which is key component of the North East Strategic Plan to create and sustain more Scaleup businesses in the North East economy.
What attracted you to Scaleup North East?
I had previous experience of working with the North East LEP on a consultancy basis and got to know them as an organisation. When I heard they were recruiting for the Scaleup North East programme, I was particularly interested in finding out what opportunities there might be.
My career to date has included a variety of roles within both the public and private sector. I grew up in an entrepreneurial environment and was encouraged by my father from an early age to learn about commerce, making money and being successful.
The idea of bringing my background and experience together to stimulate the economy under the Scaleup agenda and impact the region’s economic activity seemed a perfect fit.
What is main purpose of your role?
A huge amount of work has already been done to develop the ideas, concept and secure funding for the multimillion pound Scaleup North East programme. My role as Programme Director is to hold everything together, steer the ship, make sure our message to market is clear, engaging a broad range of referral partners, and have the right team in place to deliver the programme.
I am reassured and grateful that the Scaleup Partners already appointed are the right people for the job, hitting the ground running and already receiving positive feedback, the search is now on to add further Scaleup Partners to the team.
What is it like working at RTC?
Living in Whitley Bay I have a great commute straight through the Tyne Tunnel to Sunderland. I am inspired each day seeing the progress of the new Northern Spire Bridge currently being built over the River Wear. Whilst RTC North has been established for over 30 years, we only relocated to the newly refurbished Loftus House in 2016 so the office environment still feels like new.
Scaleup North East is just one of the programmes delivered by RTC North, who are dedicated to helping businesses innovate, compete and grow. With over 70 staff, RTC North has a significant back office function, with expert teams focussed on the delivery of these programmes. As part of the executive team I am able to take insight, knowledge and share learnings from the other programmes to provide invaluable support to the Scaleup North East programme.
What was your experience as candidate through NRG?
I have known Scot McHarg, Associate Director at NRG, for several years and although I was in a job and happy where I was, he knew my passion was to be closer to the business community. Even if I hadn’t been successful in securing the role, I had a positive experience from my first meeting with NRG, right through to offer management.
What advice would you give to candidates applying to Scaleup North East?
We are looking for three further Scaleup Partners and it has become really clear the type of person we need to deliver the programme and welcome applications from those with a successful and diverse career in senior management.
We are flexible as to whether our Scaleup Partners are full or part-time; they may have naturally exited a successful business and want to stay close to the coalface, and these roles allow them to do just that, and work alongside other activities, such as a non-executive director role.
To be successful as a Scaleup Partner you will have held a variety of senior roles within fast growing businesses and those going through difficult times, with experience of managing their way out of the process i.e. MBO.
From engineering and manufacturing, to construction and the service industry; in an ideal world we would have 40 people deployed in different sectors, but we need people with broad sector experience and understanding.
Every business is affected by emerging technologies and we are particularly keen to meet people with experience of digital transformation and those who understand how digital technologies make business more efficient as they scale.
Scaleup Partners will be the change agents of the region – if you are an energetic person who gets a kick from working with dynamic businesses to unleash their true potential, you should apply for this role. You will be part of a team that will achieve extraordinary things, with countless opportunities to learn new skills and have loads of fun along the way.
For further information about the Scaleup Programme and current vacancies visit our microsite here.