Employment Benefits and the Security Industry

One of the biggest fall-outs of the economic crisis has been its impact on the global job industry. As I write this, youth unemployment in the UK alone is hovering around 19.5%. The figures for youth unemployment are much worse in other European countries like Spain (41.7%), France (27.8%) and Italy (23.3%). And across the Atlantic, the US economy has been struggling to create jobs, and unemployment figures have risen from 5% in 2005 to about 9% in 2011.

The co-ordinated global effort by members of the G20 in the form of financial stimulus has helped save the world economy from something much worse, but has provided little comfort to the 205 million people who are now unemployed. And as things stand, there is little scope for further stimulus.

But some economists argue the rise in unemployment figures are not a result of the financial crisis alone. There is also a dearth of skilled and quality labour, and as a result jobs are either outsourced or are not filled. Lowering the natural rate of unemployment will require structural reforms, such as changing education or providing on the job training to employees so they can continually improve their skills. Efforts should also be made by employers to keep their employees motivated by acknowledging their achievements.

At Magenta, our employees are our biggest asset and we do everything to help them learn new skills. It’s an approach which means we have a below average staff turnover.

Security is an important industry and it is vital to have good pay schemes in order to attract the best people. Security careers are no longer regarded as stop- over. In fact, many people are joining the industry with a long term perspective. In order to attract staff, we pay employees rates as per the London living wage and also gives awards, gift vouchers and certificates of merit to long term and outstanding employees.

In 2010/ 2011, we increased training expenditure by 30%. The focus of training has been to help staff become rounded individuals. Over the last year we have enrolled all employees, not just those working in front-line security roles, on NVQ Level 2/3 courses in a variety of subjects. The NVQ courses have allowed employees to study on site and on the job, ensuring they develop skills relevant to their role. We have also introduced a staff training data base, allowing management to track learning outcomes, progress and achievement. The success of the training scheme was highlighted at an award ceremony where staff received their certificates, whilst certain individuals were rewarded for meritorious service such as honesty, proactivity and bravery.

We feel that at the time of financial crisis, the best an employer can do is to train its employees and to provide an environment where they feel valued. Offering on the job training schemes can make the security industry more attractive, especially at a time when security industry is booming across the world, and there is greater demand for trained security personnel.

Abbey Petkar

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