The Regional Minister for the West Midlands, Ian Austin MP, today officially opened the Skills for Security Technical Training Centre in Birmingham. The ceremony was attended by senior representatives from the British Security Industry Association, the Fire Industry Association and a number of employers. The centre caters for apprentices who are studying to become qualified fire or security installation and maintenance engineers, and has already enrolled 57 young adults, each of whom receives additional practical training in the workplace from their employer. After opening the Centre the Minister was given a tour of the facilities and took the opportunity to speak to some of the apprentices, who attend on either a day release or block release basis for either two or three years, depending on the level of qualification they are seeking.
The training is provided free of charge and, speaking at the event, David Greer, Chief Executive of Skills for Security, said; “Apprenticeships are an excellent method by which Systems companies can build a highly skilled workforce for no additional cost. That has to be hugely beneficial, particularly in the current economic climate when companies need to be preparing to take advantage of the additional business that will result from the upturn. We are very pleased to be able to offer this assistance to our employers and are very grateful to the Minister for his support. We hope that this will be the first of a network of Skills for Security Technical Training Centres for apprentices.”
Declaring the Centre open the Minister reiterated the Government’s commitment to raising the skills of the UK’s workforce. He recognised the Systems sector’s contribution to that aim, saying; “I welcome the fire and security industries investment by offering young adults in the West Midlands the opportunity to become the skilled installation and maintenance engineers of the future through the Skills for Security apprenticeship programme.” He urged companies to play their part in raising skills and creating opportunities for young people, pointing out that “Organisations both large and small can make a difference – just one work experience place or apprenticeship can give a young person a chance to build a career.”