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Busting myths about the security industry

The site services and security sector is estimated to be worth £121.8 billion a year to the UK economy, whilst the private security industry is worth over £9 billion and employs over 356,000 people.

Both sectors have a good track record of helping people move into work by providing opportunities for many entry-level roles, through apprenticeships amongst others. They also offer exciting career opportunities to ensure that people who move in to the industry stay there.

To work in security you will need a Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence and specific training is required before you can obtain this licence. Some employers will pay for licence training but many people self-fund at a cost of approximately £220.

Here are five myth- busting facts about working in security…

Wages are really poor
The security industry recognises the adverse impact low wages has on attracting good staff. Starting salaries are often above the minimum wage usually starting between £13,000 and £16,000 and rising to £22,000 for an experienced guard.
Opportunities exist to progress into management which offers higher wages and greater job satisfaction. Many senior managers and even some CEOs started as security guards, illustrating how the industry can offer a career path.

Only men do that
The traditional men-only attitude is changing. More than 11% of roles in security are now held by women. The industry will recruit from all backgrounds, sex, race and religion. The industry’s role is evolving and it needs to reflect the society it serves.

Hours are too long
Whilst there may be a requirement to work up to 48 hours in some roles, many employers offer a variety of hours and shift patterns.

It’s a dangerous job
Most security staff never have to deal with very dangerous situations and those who do are well trained. Modern technology helps to protect security workers making their jobs safer as help is always at hand.

Security staff are all ex-cons
All security companies operating in the private security industry must employ Security Industry Authority licensed staff who must undergo mandatory training to prove their identity and pass a criminal record check. The industry is respected and security workers can be proud of their status.

If you are interested in finding out further information, please visit www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk

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