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Building better leaders from the frontline Empathy, wisdom, people first

Serco People Report 2022 (PDF 29MB)

Ten years ago, Luke Collier was a carpenter, his chosen trade since leaving school. Eight years later, as Operations Director for Serco’s Asylum Accommodation and Support Services Contract (AASC) in North West England, he led a team 200 strong, supporting thousands of asylum seekers through the first Covid-19 lockdown in the UK. 

The intervening years were the most exciting, challenging and rewarding he’s known to date. 

Luke discovered Serco while seeking a more meaningful career to support his family. He began in a role repairing and maintaining domestic properties. Immediately it stirred in him something that had lain dormant all his working life: a passionate sense of purpose.

Headshot of Luke Collier

“I loved everything about the work, the organisation, the people. They’re exceptional individuals facing complex challenges every day as they strive to help vulnerable people create better lives for themselves and their families. The heroic work they do gets overshadowed by negative press about UK immigration, but we generate significant cultural and economic value for UK society, helping asylum seekers find their place as contributing citizens in local communities.”

It also ignited his appetite to lead and get involved in making decisions that make a difference. He set about broadening his horizons, exploring the business, getting involved in different projects, networking and gravitating towards role models and mentors. 

The business was growing, and Luke pursued new opportunities with grit, determination, and humility. He took care to make each new role his own, building strong relationships with his teams and always listening. Every success, every setback, taught him even more than six years of diplomas, undertaken following his first promotion in Serco.

Luke would be the first to say his climb has been hard work, but he believes that anyone realise their potential in Serco if they’re willing to commit, engage and learn: 

“You have to chase opportunity hard, take on responsibility, and always be the first to put your hand up. Don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable. Be prepared. Be organised. My dad always taught me: practice makes permanent. So, wring quality learning from quality experience. And remember, it’s not about you, it’s about your team and what they deliver.”

Luke is deeply grateful for Serco’s trust and investment in him, and their ability to see and channel his potential. Luke’s own line manager, Jenni Halliday, AASC Contract Director, began with Serco as a Prison Officer herself, and Luke is keen to strengthen the legacy of internal promotion and open-minded succession planning: 

AASC workman placing spirit level on top of new fence he is building

“Operational experience and insight are highly valued in Serco. Our frontline colleagues with leadership appetite and capability know our business inside out – it makes them empathetic leaders, wise decision makers and better mentors; and raising them up embeds trust and recognition in our wider team culture. I spend a lot of time with our people for exactly that reason – getting to know and understand them, looking for those who love every minute of it, just like I do.” 

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