House of Lords event

by Mark Rowe

Skills for Security’s sponsorship event at the House of Lords on May 23 is featured in the July print edition of Professional Security Magazine, that you can also read as a ‘flip page’ publication on the magazine website.

There were a lot of important conversations about the challenges facing the security industry – the skills crisis, lack of career pathways, recruitment and retention, and lack of new people joining. Whilst those points of reflection have already led to great things – notably a £200k investment into charitable activities within the sector to help tackle these key challenges – there is still so much more to be done on an individual level. Fire and Security recruitment firm Zitko Group was represented by their CEO and founder George Zitko at this event (pictured outside), and he found his time spent in attendance particularly moving.

Despite originally living on a London council estate, George found his way learning at one of the best private schools in the country through the help of the Government funded Assisted Places Scheme (which ran 1980-1997). As a result of this, George was suddenly on a different trajectory in life – he grew up in Westminster, went to school in what felt like the Houses of Parliament, and even smoked his first cigarette in sight of Big Ben. All things that would have felt like a dream world without such a scheme. Whilst at the time he knew the opportunity he had been given was great, it was only as the years went by that he truly began to appreciate the opportunity given to him, and the impact a scheme like that can offer to people.

Three years ago, Zitko Group introduced its own initiative to tackle the skills shortage and lack of diversity within the Fire and Security Industry – Zitko Talent. Through its use of tech and modern, gender-neutral assessment methods and advertisements, they are on a mission to employ fresh talent into the industry and give as many people as possible not only a successful job but a lifelong career. They continue to work with their partners, new and old, to provide the groundwork needed to implement such schemes into their client’s businesses, and in turn create more opportunities for those that may have otherwise missed out. Whilst Zitko Group are proud of what Talent has achieved so far, they acknowledge there is still so much more room for improvement with EDI within the industry, and they will continue to play their part in its progression to make the industry accessible to all.

Here’s what George had to say about his evening at the House of Lords for the Skills for Security event:

‘Returning to Westminster and the House of Lords last night for the Skills for Security sponsorship event was seriously cool and in no small measure emotive, even more so that I attended as a business owner, talking to numerous key stakeholders about how we can solve our skills shortage by attracting new, diverse groups of talent. There’s a long way to go but huge strides have already been made, and I’m delighted to say that we’re already working on a number of new partnerships on the subject!’

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