Security Firms Must Recruit 62,000 New Officers to Meet Demand
22 August 2022
The UK’s private security industry must recruit, train and license more than 62,000 new security officers over the next 12 months to keep up with the growing demand for their services.
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According to the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), the trade body for the professional security industry in the UK has started consulting with its members, who provide over 70 per cent of private security services in the UK, on plans to launch the industry’s biggest-ever recruitment drive.
Feedback from BSIA members indicates that the UK’s private security sector needs to boost the size of its licensed security officer population to more than 400,000 over the next 12 months, an increase of 12 per cent, to meet growing demand. The industry anticipates losing almost 20,000 officers from its workforce through factors including retirement and displacement following Brexit and COVID-19.
Elizabeth Smith, Head of People & Culture at Security provider Expeditious Services, echoes this: "Many officers placed on furlough have been sat at a career crossroads, giving time to rethink their place in the security industry. Long shifts doing high-risk work for low reward, with expenses to keep compliant and licensed have contributed to the 'great resignation' as workers want more pay for less stress."
Renewed Interest in Light of Protect Duty
However, interest in private security services has increased following the Government’s Protect Duty consultation, which will create a legal requirement for organisations to provide proportionate security measures when it comes into force as expected in 2023.
BSIA members also cite rising criminality, the “substantial” terror threat level and more incidents involving members of the public who have mental health issues as factors driving increased demand for their services.
Mike Reddington, Chief Executive at the BSIA, said “The private security industry faces unprecedented demand for highly-trained, licensed security officers from organisations and events who recognise they need to purchase security services based on risk and professionalism rather than cost. Security is more than a high-vis vest and buyers are more willing to invest in quality now to achieve a safer, more secure environment.”
“Our members and their customers anticipate that the Government’s Protect Duty, introduced in the wake of the Manchester Arena attack, will become law sooner rather than later. Businesses such as event producers know they need to spend more on professional security officers trained in terror threat awareness and emergency first aid in order to protect people better.
“As a sector we are moving quickly to attract more security officers into the industry, letting people know security can be a career of choice for team players who care about providing a professional service to protect people, property and places and who will commit to the training. Failure to achieve this could compromise public safety and some big events may not be able to happen as planned.”
Picture: a photograph of Mike Reddington. Image Credit: BSIA
Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 22 August 2022
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