Brian Sims

Security industry bucks trend as demand for officers soars

AMID HEADLINES focused on hiring freezes and job cuts, the security industry is bucking the trend. New figures published by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) indicate that the sector is booming, with businesses recruiting an estimated 65,000 new members of staff across the last six months as demand has grown.

A survey of BSIA members suggests that security businesses have increased the size of their workforces by almost one fifth (ie 16 per cent) since July 2022 as the industry comes to terms with new legislation and prepares for the full-scale return of major events and festivals in 2023.

A major national recruitment initiative entitled ‘People, Property, Places: Professionally Protected’, which was launched by the BSIA in 2022, focused on improving perceptions around a career in the industry and raising awareness of the crucial work security officers do among members of the public.

Data from the Security Industry Authority suggests that young people and women are two important groups contributing to the industry’s growth.

In the 12 months to March 2023, the biggest increase in the licensed security officer population was experience in the 18-25 age bracket with a 14% increase. Over the same period, there was a 6% increase in licenced female security officers, which was double the 3% increase in licenced male officers.

Marcia Macay, aged 25, is a licensed security officer working for SecuriGroup. Macay completed the UK’s first apprenticeship for front line security personnel in 2022 and is now pursuing further accreditation with the aim of becoming a security manager.

Protect Duty

The increasing demand for private security services follows the Government's Protect Duty consultation, launched in the wake of the Manchester Arena terrorist bombing, which creates a legal requirement for organisations to provide proportionate security measures at venues.

Mike Reddington, CEO at the BSIA, commented: “The recruitment of new security officers is essential for ensuring public safety. It’s heartening to see security booming amid the economic uncertainty. More and more people are recognising the wide range of opportunities and career progression the sector offers for talent that has been cut loose from elsewhere.”

Reddington continued: “As an industry body, we’re working hard to improve the perception of the security industry and attract young people and women by highlighting the incredible role security officers play in keeping people and property safe and protected. There’s far more to the job than just wearing a hi-vis vest.”

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