UK apprenticeship launched to help change industry perceptions and encourage growth


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The British Security Industry Association (BSIA), Skills for Security and SecuriGroup have launched an apprenticeship for frontline security personnel.

A first of its kind initiative, the aim of the new apprenticeship is to tackle the ‘outdated image’ of security and encourage younger people to begin careers in the industry.

The UK, specifically, is facing a shortage of security officers. Moreover, an increased demand for security services, an ageing workforce, Brexit and fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that approximately 62,000 new security officers are needed to meet demand and ensure public safety.

A real opportunity to change the industry

The landmark Security Officers Services Apprenticeship (Level 5 SVQ Apprenticeship in Providing Security Officer Services) was launched in Scotland in 2021 and has recently seen its first cohort complete the programme.

It is a funded 12-month course that equips security personnel with the training, skills and expertise needed to be a modern, professional security officer. Areas of focus and learning include Fire Safety, Mental Health Awareness, Conflict Management, Counter Terrorism and Safeguarding.

Twenty five year old Marcia Mackay, now SIA-licensed Security Officer with SecuriGroup, is one of the first students to have completed the Security Officers Services Apprenticeship.

Having gained the skills to tackle the latest security threats, Mackay is now calling for other young people to consider a career in the industry: “I think there’s a real opportunity to change the industry.

“Getting more young people and women in is a big part of that. I think we’re compassionate. We listen. To get the best outcomes with the public, that’s what you need.

“It’s also just a great place to grow life skills. Team working, social engagement, just stepping up and taking responsibility; I’ll be using those skills for the rest of my life.”

There are currently over 500 students on Skills for Security apprenticeships across the UK on courses that range from Fire Emergency and Security Systems to Security First Line Manager. It is anticipated that the Security Officers Services Apprenticeship will go live in the rest of the UK in summer 2023.

Mike Reddington, Chief Executive, BSIA said: “Recognised qualifications and defined career pathways are a key part in changing perceptions of what a role in the security industry looks like; it is an essential role in keeping people, property and places professionally protected.

“Young people like Marcia, who are completing their security apprenticeships are showing that there are very real opportunities for development – both personally and professionally. There’s more to a career in security than wearing a hi-viz vest.”

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