News, Blog, Employment, Awards, Careers | Wednesday 21st October 2020

Meet Priya Vencatasawmy

Talent Consultant – Zitko Talent

After 4 years as a Training and Projects Coordinator with Johnson Controls, Priya is perfectly suited to the task of running and developing, Zitko Talent. She’s been instrumental in setting the programme up and, in particular, recruiting our first cohort of trainees.

She’ll be planning and leading everything it takes to deliver world-class training and development to those taking part, from creating personalised development plans to scheduling and continually expanding the Zitko Talent offering.

Priya, you’re no stranger to training and development in the Fire & Security world. Can you tell us a bit about your time at Johnson Controls?

It was a fun job, supporting quite a large field engineering team with everything from logistics to training.

The training side was especially rewarding. I’d be working with colleagues one-to-one to discuss their career goals and update their training plans.

On top of that I planned training for upcoming projects, identifying needs and then working with manufacturers and others to schedule courses.

It was a great way to learn about the engineering side of the industry in-depth – the technologies, skill requirements, operations, applications and so forth.

What brought you to Zitko?

I’d become more and more interested in the resourcing aspects of projects. Hiring the right people is a real challenge and I was keen to explore that side of things.

I already knew the guys at Zitko and the excellent work they did, so when an opportunity arose to join them, I took it.

That was December 2019.

What was your initial role?

I started off as a Resource Consultant, identifying and contacting professionals who might be a good fit for the Zitko client base, now or in the future.

This isn’t a ‘hard sell’. Our whole approach is to get to know people by discussing their careers, current position and preferred direction should they want to make a move.

My Johnson Controls background proved really useful. These are busy, in-demand specialists, so you’d better know what you’re talking about when you talk to them!

I’d decided resourcing would be my main focus for the foreseeable future– until George sounded me out about Zitko Talent.

What were your first impressions of the programme?

That it was a tremendously compelling proposition for an industry that’s grappling with a skills shortage and needs to take a fresh approach.

When you can say to a customer that you can solve their problem more effectively, easily and cost efficiently, you know you’re onto something.

But what I really love about Zitko Talent, is the opportunities it offers trainees, including people who might not think an engineering career is within reach.

The programme concept’s been very well-received by the industry. We’ve launched with a strong partnership of top employers, manufacturers, trainers and professional bodies. 

It will only get stronger!

Tell us about your role

I’ll be course administration lead for the programme, reporting to the Board and generally keeping the show on the road.

That includes supporting trainees and employers, developing personalised training plans, scheduling courses and organising the assessment and awards side.

It’s familiar ground for me, but in a wonderfully new field.

I’m also running course admissions. We’ve attracted some real stars from many different fields for the first intake. They can’t wait to get started.

Who can apply for the programme?

The beauty of Zitko Talent is it’s super-inclusive.

If you genuinely love tech and, say, maintain your own car, build your own computers, do your own DIY or produce your own music, you could be an ideal candidate.

Experience and qualifications are optional. A year’s paid work experience and 300 hours of training will teach you all you need to get started.

I’m passionate about diversity and equality. We’ll be doing everything we can to promote Zitko Talent to people from under-represented groups.

One of the biggest things for me is being able to open doors for people where none previously existed.

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