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Get Licensed calls on private security industry to increase pay rates

Anthony Milner of Get Licensed

Licensing expert Get Licensed is calling upon private security companies across the region to raise the minimum hourly rate for door staff.

It follows an announcement by industry regulator the Security Industry Authority (SIA) that it is expanding the training package required as part of the licensing process.

The current course – which also qualifies people to work in a variety of SIA-approved roles, including retail, corporate and event security – is due to be extended from four to six days in April.

Get Licensed, the UK’s number one course finder for licence linked courses, says the change presents an ideal opportunity for the private security industry, which is worth £6 billion a year, to review its wage structure to tackle the traditionally high rates of employee turnover.

And it warns the inevitable increase in the cost of the super-sized training course could even put some people off from pursuing a career in the private security industry.

An average door supervisor earns between £10 to £15 per hour which fails to reflect the high level of responsibility, knowledge and skills required by SIA licensed operatives.

Anthony Milner of Get Licensed said: “We are calling on the industry to unite and agree a higher minimum wage that will create more job security and promote even greater professionalism.

“I welcome the SIA’s changes to the training specifications which yet again raise the bar in terms of expertise, skills and knowledge but this must be reflected in hourly pay rates.”

The current course requires the completion of four training modules involving three multiple choice exams and an assessment. Areas covered include health and safety, communications skills, civil and criminal law, drugs awareness, defusing conflict and physical intervention skills.

He added: “It’s a far cry from the traditional and outdated image of a shaven-headed ‘bouncer’ whose main weapon was intimidation. The modern door supervisor is responsible for the safety and security of the customers and is called upon to deploy a multitude of skills, sometimes in difficult situations.

“The industry is heavily regulated and has changed beyond all recognition from 20 or 30 years ago. There is a new generation of highly professional and competent door supervisors who deserve a realistic level of pay.”

He also called upon the government to revise the Private Security Act, which established the SIA and imposes regulatory standards, in order to better reflect the huge positive changes that have taken place within the industry since the law was introduced in 2001.

Mr Milner said ministerial time must be devoted to updating the law to reflect ever changing best practice in such areas as physical intervention.