A new resourcing model to address the industry skill shortage
We’ve been talking a lot about Zitko Talent lately, following its public launch in October 2020.
In case you missed it, we’ve forged an alliance of leading Fire & Security employers, manufacturers, training companies and trade bodies.
Our purpose? To attract and develop 1,000 technical entrants to the industry a year, via an intensive 12-month foundation training and paid experience programme.
It’s designed to open the door wider - to engineers from other sectors, to college leavers and to those with raw potential, in order to help solve the looming skills shortage.
You can read more about the programme here.
A new model for us
We like to think of Zitko Talent as ‘recruitment plus’.
Within the alliance Zitko will be leveraging its core skills: promoting the industry and its employers; engaging with and assessing talent; placing outstanding candidates.
Then with our partners we’re going a step further, by extending the subsequent onboarding process to a full year of structured employment, training and development.
It’s designed to give participants a solid Fire & Security launchpad; and employers a new pipeline of talent prepared to build a career with them, long-term.
The programme in action
Employers choose from a pool of carefully vetted candidates and employ/supervise them as trainee engineers within engineering divisions, such as install, service or commissioning.
At the same time the Zitko Talent team works with trainees and their employers to maintain personalised training plans and schedule the training and education required,
Over the year our training and education partners, including Tavcom and Skills For Security, deliver around 160 hours of classroom-based and online technical education.
And our manufacturer partners provide training and certification in up to six systems the trainee is using routinely in their job.
Employers finish the programme with productive team members trained specifically for their workplace. Trainees have the world at their feet!
The recruitment and selection process
Getting the industry and programme in front of the right people is a real marketing challenge because of the diversity of our audience.
We’re using social media and job boards, but additionally we’re reaching out to community groups, education charities, the Armed Forces transition partnership and others who can help us spread the word.
A particular challenge is reaching those who won’t even be thinking of an engineering career for whatever reason, but who have the aptitude to do well.
To uncover that aptitude, we’re using well known, structured intelligence assessments. This helps us quickly and objectively shortlist people for a highly interactive interview process using our custom video platform.
Successful applicants join our trainee pool, which gives participating employers a wonderful choice of carefully assessed employees.
New possibilities for employers
There’s nothing about the Zitko Talent programme that’s beyond the scope of employers should they wish to go it alone, but there are obstacles.
Many we talked to pointed to the time, cost and complication of organising the necessary training for employees with no industry experience.
Zitko Talent takes care of all of this, not only dealing with training companies and manufacturers on their behalf, but also administering training plans end to end.
And it does so while leveraging considerable economies of scale and providing a free replacement guarantee should the trainee drop out.
A new intake every quarter
Our first trainees begin their programmes in November 2020 and we’ll be welcoming new intakes quarterly as we ramp up to 1,000 trainees per year.
Twelve months from now our first entrants will be productive team members, with the foundation they need to build their skills, and career, long-term.