Like any business in a competitive market place, we are committed to investing in our people to ensure we have a diverse, capable and motivated workforce that represents us well in the markets where we operate. This enhances our reputation, making it easier to win new contracts and therefore to drive economic benefits for society by employing more people.

UK employment patterns and demographic change mean that recruitment and retention for roles like service and installation engineers are important areas of focus for us. We therefore continue to develop initiatives that first enable us to find and attract the right people, and then encourage them to stay with us.

Training and personal development have an important role to play in this area. We operate a graduate recruitment programme, targeting individuals who can grow with us, ensuring that we have in place the pipeline of talent needed to continue growing our business.

Group-wide the Sureserve Academy acts as a central hub for all Learning and Development activity across the Group. It has been developed to create visibility and promote consistency in all training and upskilling undertaken within each of our businesses – whether that’s apprenticeships, employee development opportunities, mandatory training or our online Learning Management System (which already provides 29 essential courses online or via an app to all employees, and is set to almost double that in early 2019). We now have upwards of 170 Apprenticeships in operation throughout our Compliance businesses. This has the potential to be recognised as a national apprenticeship academy and can become the cornerstone of our resourcing and reputation within the industry.

Our Allied Protection fire safety and security business, for example, has created a three-year course for young people interested in joining the fire industry. Working with training providers and industry-leading partners in equipment and tool manufacturing, during the year the company welcomed its first intake of 10 trainees who had just completed their City and Guilds level 2 and 3 courses for mentored training.

This complements other initiatives including apprenticeship programmes for electricians and operations training for managers, which together aim to equip the company to meet not only today’s demand but tomorrow’s challenges too.

As well as training opportunities, we have succession plans that enable people to see how they can develop within the Group, encouraging them to build rewarding, long term careers with us.

Investing in our workforce is not only about improving skills and performance, but also giving our people an enjoyable and motivating place to work. We therefore always work hard to engage with every level of our workforce, learning from their opinions and insights to improve our business and help them develop satisfying careers that add to their quality of life.

It is because of this that the Women in Business working group was set up in early 2018, in order to advocate for both short and long term goals in promoting diversity and resolving both operational and cultural challenges across the Group.

Already having had a number of meetings with a settled team of representatives, the group has made progress in identifying and discussing solutions to Group wide issues including training, recruitment, management, diversity, culture and reputation.

We make sure the Group is an enjoyable and motivating place to work.