Against a backdrop of economic austerity, rocketing youth unemployment and a challenging job market, young people working in the security industry are bucking the trend and emerging on long-term careers, gaining skills along the way, thanks to the industry’s wholehearted support of its young apprentices.
As National Apprenticeship Week (6th – 10th February 2012) draws to a close, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) is highlighting the ongoing campaign across the UK’s security industry to encourage young people to consider a career in security. Last year, the BSIA supported Skills for Security’s ‘100 in 100’ challenge, an initiative aimed at employing 100 apprentices in the industry in just 100 days. Actions speak louder than words, of course, and to demonstrate its own commitment to the cause, the BSIA has since appointed its own Business Administration Apprentice, 18-year-old Rhian Brown.
After leaving school with 12 good GCSEs, Rhian – still unsure on what career path she wanted to pursue – embarked on a college course, which, it soon became apparent, was not for her. She explains:
“I explored going to University but very quickly came to the conclusion that even if I had a degree I couldn’t guarantee finding a job, and the thought of having to pay back a massive debt was very daunting. I then explored Apprenticeship schemes and the opportunity to learn on the job whilst earning a wage was very attractive.”
Working from the ground up, Rhian’s apprenticeship will take her around the business, giving her a broad base of experience and business knowledge from different departments, all while she works towards NVQ Levels 2 and 3 in Business Administration.
Rhian adds: “As part of my course, I will explore how a business runs, spending time in different departments, so that once my apprenticeship is over, I will be in a better position to make an informed decision about my future career path. In particular, I’m interested in Event Management, Graphic Design and Marketing so I am sure that the knowledge and skills that I gain over the next two years will better equip me in to making a choice.
“I am very grateful to the BSIA for investing in me and I hope that I will be able to continue to pursue my career with them for many years to come. I would recommend Apprenticeship schemes to any young person looking to gain skills, work experience and all-important qualifications.”
James Kelly, Chief Executive of the BSIA, comments: “I am delighted to welcome Rhian on board and wish her every success, both in her new role and in her college course. The security industry is constantly evolving, and as such, an investment in young people is an investment in our industry’s future.”
The BSIA’s support of young people in the security industry extends even further, with nominations now open for the Association’s annual Apprentice Installer Awards, which recognise the achievements of second and third-year apprentices involved in the installation of alarms, CCTV, access control or a combination of these and who work for a company that is certified for installation activities by a UKAS accredited body.
James Kelly adds: “These awards recognise the elite of the security industry’s apprentices and are a tribute to the dedication of the new blood of our industry.”
Companies wishing to nominate apprentices for the Apprentice Installer Awards, which are sponsored by BSIA member Pyronix, can do so by completing and submitting the nomination form by 30th March 2012. Nomination forms are available from the BSIA’s Christine Brooks, who can be reached on 0845 389 0743 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org