SUMMER is fast approaching now . . . and with it a great sense of excitement and anticipation about the major outdoor events which create so many wonderful experiences.

Once again in 2017, there will be no shortage of memorable occasions to choose from and, in the vast majority of cases, audiences will enjoy great entertainment value for their money.

The smooth running of any major event relies on crucial contributions from qualified teams of operational staff across different areas, one of which is crowd management and security.

The availability of SIA-licenced staff has become a big resourcing headache for the security industry, however, one which could lead to premium prices for licenced professionals inflating the price customers pay for a ticket or even events being cancelled due insufficient numbers.

That is becoming a very real prospect, especially during peak periods for the events industry, due to the alarming shortfall in SIA- licenced staff being felt by security companies and putting pressure on them to deliver on even the minimum of requirements in such circumstances.

Leading organisations and companies in the security industry came together recently to conduct a fact-finding survey which will hopefully help to shape the future for all concerned.

The United Kingdom Crowd Management Association worked closely with the Football Safety Officers Association on this project, which was supported by the Security Industry Authority, to benchmark the current state of the industry and provide direction moving forwards.

There was an excellent response to the survey which was prompted by figures showing that there had been a 20 per cent drop in renewals of SIA Licences over the past three years.

As Chairman of the UKCMA and Managing Director of Showsec, Mark Harding has been an influential force behind the campaign to obtain a clearer picture of what is required.

He commented: “As an industry, we have the capacity to rise to the challenge and deliver the standards of service which are required. But this is not just about what the industry can provide, commercial organisations must decide what product they want.

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“They are the drivers and they can have the strongest influence upon the development of security standards. Unless we find the right solutions to shape our future, the prospect of premium prices for qualified staff during peak periods or indeed events being cancelled due to a shortage of licenced staff may be not that far away because of the worrying fall in standards.”

He added: “The Government also needs to be aware that the service considered to be an extended arm of the Police Force in their eyes is diminishing significantly in numbers and cannot therefore be as much of a deterrent for the increased terrorist risk.”

As a market-leading crowd management and event security specialist, Showsec are as well- equipped as any to rise to the challenges ahead with robust recruitment, training and booking operations in place within the Company’s Product Resourcing Department.

Innovative training and development programmes across the whole business have underpinned their growth and success, while a commitment to setting high benchmarks and influencing industry standards has been a key element of that approach.

Showsec have worked closely with academic institutions to develop qualifications and degrees which embrace changes within the industry and ensure continuous progression, so that clients, public safety and staff all benefit from that investment.

It provides a clear career pathway for those coming into the industry and gives them the best-possible chance to fulfil their potential, a fact which is supported by so many of the Company’s current management team having climbed that ladder.

“At Showsec, we have invested heavily in delivering training and development programmes which enable those who join the

industry to acquire all the necessary qualifications and fulfil their potential in progressing to a permanent role,” commented Harding.

“But we need to find the answers to a lot of questions, such as why are people not entering the industry in the numbers that they were a few years ago, and why are we not retaining those who do decide to pursue what is broadly casual employment initially.”

He added: “The distribution and demands for services are largely restricted to evenings and weekends, as well as large-scale events and peak periods, so there is not a consistent and sufficient workload to maintain permanent, full-time positions for many.

“Yet here at Showsec, we can point to so many great examples of people who have decided to pursue this opportunity and are now occupying key full-time posts.”

Showsec recognise, however, that more needs to be done to ensure they have a sufficient number of licenced professionals to meet their operational commitments and growth, which is why they have given their full backing to the survey.

“By obtaining a clearer picture of the current state of the industry through this survey, we can use that evidence to shape the future and make it more attractive to not only work in the security industry, but also follow a career path,” said Harding.

“That way, the industry can make up this shortfall in qualified staff and ensure that all events, however large or small they may be, can be staffed from a security point of view in the appropriate way, so adding to the enjoyment of the public.”

For more details about the crowd management and event security services Showsec can offer your company please visit the website:

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