Bill Freear – Training investment in security personnel

Bill Freear - Managing Director of Pilgrims Group Ltd
Bill Freear - Managing Director of Pilgrims Group Ltd

Writing for, Bill Freear, Managing Director of Pilgrims Group Ltd, discusses security training.

Bill writes, “The private security industry in the UK has seen reducing margins over the last decade and the result of this has been a reluctance for many security companies to invest in their people. We face an ever expanding requirement for more skilled individuals, with technological advancement moving forward at a pace whilst reducing margins and relatively low pay within the sector make the task increasingly difficult.

“One of the effects of low margins is a lack of investment in security personnel, with minimal training, low morale, reduction in performance and increased risks. The challenge facing the security industry is to bridge the gap between low margins, which are unlikely to increase, and the need to invest in security personnel ensuring we meet future requirements.

“Often security personnel have little or no additional security training once their initial Security Industry Authority (SIA) basic job training is completed and for many this could mean several years without refreshing knowledge and skills. It can prove difficult to take site based security personnel away from their places of work to provide training as it is a costly activity which, without client investment, is unlikely to happen. Regular site based workshops and briefings on legislative change have an important part to play. I believe, however, that this needs to be enhanced through more structured and ongoing training programmes.

“One of the most cost effective measures producing excellent results is the investment in distance learning packages, particularly E-Learning, which can deliver effective and ongoing training at a time and place that fits in with work commitments. We have been delivering award winning E-Learning training over the last 12 months which has demonstrated positive results to both security personnel and clients, ensuring greater retention of knowledge and increasing skills.

“We have also committed to a multi-million pound investment in a new 45,000 sq ft Training Academy which will provide delegates with what we believe to be the most advanced corporate safety and security training centre in the UK. Underpinning this facility will be an E-Learning team, including several graphic designers, creating and managing current and future E-Learning packages.

“Despite reducing margins, I believe that investment into and training of our industry’s personnel is achievable and that this investment will ensure better capability and moral of security teams facing a challenging future.”

Opinions expressed by contributors and commentators do not necessarily reflect the views of or Interconnective Limited.