Doug Hewitson, the Managing Director of G4S Secure Solutions Group introduces his fourth blog on Infologue.com. Doug writes: “Whatever people say, security is a people business. In G4S Secure Solutions UK – we realise that in the past ‘security’ as a whole had an issue with being perceived as the realm of the low-skilled and the low-paid, rather than a value-adding business service. Historically, if the industry is honest with itself, some of these perceptions were not without grounding but we also know that in many ways they could not be further from the truth.
“Our industry has fantastic people in it at all levels, from frontline to the boardroom. We understand that our people are the key to our success in this fast-moving and innovative sector, therefore staff training and development has never been more important to us.
“That’s why I am proud that at G4S we have shown the real value of learning and development by mapping out a step-by-step developmental path from security officer up to company director. This gives real clarity and structure to the people involved.
“I passionately believe that lifelong learning and development should be available to everyone. It is our responsibility to offer structured career progression especially for our brightest talents. Two exceptional members of our team; Eric Alexander, MD of G4S Events, and Andy Lane, MD of Regional Security North have both progressed through our organisation supported by our career development structure.
“In my view, if our employees are willing to go the extra mile then we owe it to them to give support to help those individuals flourish. The knock-on effects will not only benefit us as a business but improve standards across the industry as a whole.
“Like all companies our security officers first get SIA licences and can get assistance with literacy and numeracy skills. Many officers then join our Step Upprogramme that ultimately leads to an NVQ L2 qualification in team leading.
“We are committed to an extensive NVQ programme that has seen 2,677 people (80% of starters) being awarded NVQ L2 qualifications over the past three years or so.
“About 30 employees a year who are aspiring to reach Contract Management roles move into our Step Ahead Programme (NVQ L4) in partnership with the Institute of Leadership and Management.
“As careers progress about 10 people per year get the opportunity to join our Foundation Degree in Business Management course run in partnership with Bucks New University and a similar number studying for a Post Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Management provided in conjunction with the University of Worcester. So far 31 senior managers have graduated from these courses with more to come in 2013 and beyond!
“All of this has stemmed from the belief that people are our business and shows how deep our commitment is to that ethos here at G4S Secure Solutions.”
Doug Hewitson has over twenty-five years of experience in the security industry, having started out in 1987. He joined Securicor following its acquisition of Shorrocks in 1996, where he had been Regional Director for Scotland. After working as Area Director for Securicor in the North, Doug was appointed Managing Director of Securicor Aviation in 2001. The same year he became Managing Director of Securicor Security, serving until 2005 after which he worked on the integration of sectors following the merger of Group 4 and Securicor creating what is now G4S. He has been Group Managing Director of G4S Secure Solutions UK since February 2007 heading up the manned security arm of G4S in the United Kingdom.