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Showsec receives praise of the highest order for VE Day security and safety operations in London

Prime Minister David Cameron was among those who saluted the contribution of Showsec to the special London-based celebrations which marked the 70th Anniversary of VE Day.

The crowd management and event security specialist has received acclaim from several quarters for its part in the staging of events over a three-day period in the capital that remembered the occasions when the Second World War came to an end, and it was while members of the Showsec team were drawing a week of duties to a conclusion that they had an impromptu meeting with the Prime Minister at the iconic Horse Guards Parade.

“The Prime Minister was out jogging on the Tuesday evening,” explained operations executive Andrew Agnew. “We acknowledged him as he went past and he made a point of stopping to thank us and to tell us that we had all done a fantastic job on such a great occasion.”

Indeed, this is a view which has been echoed by other organisations with whom Showsec was proud to operate alongside for a celebration of such huge national significance.

Showsec helped to make the special VE Day Anniversary celebrations in central London a great success

Showsec helped to make the special VE Day Anniversary celebrations in central London a great success

The VE Day celebrations presented an opportunity to work again with the BBC’s Special Events team who broadcast live many of the special moments across the three days, and most notably A Party To Remember – the concert staged at Horse Guards Parade which featured performances by veteran rockers Status Quo and Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins.

Guy Freeman, editor of special events at BBC Events, said: “Thank you so much to Showsec for helping to create a very special show at incredibly short notice. I do mean it when I say that it’s a show of which we can all be incredibly proud in every respect. Every department excelled itself to turn what were just ideas on paper into an extraordinarily powerful, evocative and poignant tribute marking an extremely special generation.”

Chief Inspector Mark Chatfield from the Metropolitan Police Service has also stated that it had been a “pleasure” working with the Showsec team on the celebrations.

Main focus of the security operation

While a workforce of almost 700 Showsec staff was deployed throughout the week, the main focus of the whole operation was on events that took place in St James’s Park, including a vehicular display and the concert in Horse Guard’s Parade as well as a Veterans Parade.

Following a Service of Thanksgiving on the Sunday morning, that parade took both veterans and current servicemen from Westminster Abbey to St James’s Park where they were welcomed at a reception hosted by The Royal British Legion.

“Though this was essentially a big celebration, the high profile of those individuals in attendance combined with the circumstances in general at the time meant there was a heightened level of security throughout,” explained Dayo Adelugba, Showsec’s area manager for West London.

“As well as VE Day itself, we had recently had the arrival of a Royal baby and right on the eve of this event there had, of course, been the General Election as well. These were all important considerations in planning the security protocol with a high level of attention to detail necessary at every stage in the process.”

Adelugba added: “Given those circumstances there were many challenges in front of us but, due to a fantastic team effort, everything went very well and everyone seemed happy. The event gave us the opportunity to build a closer working relationship with some important key stakeholders in the capital.”

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BSIA places ‘UK Security Exporting’ at the forefront of its 2015 ‘Manifesto’

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) is pushing ahead with its promise to promote the exporting of UK private security sector solutions into the New Year. The Trade Association’s members provide over 70% of UK security products and services and adhere to strict quality standards.

British security is playing an increasingly important role on the world stage as the global market continues to create new opportunities for ‘Best of British’ products and services designed and developed by UK suppliers.

For many BSIA member companies, exporting was something of a lifeline during the recession as the process helped to keep businesses afloat. International markets such as the Middle East have thrived during the economic downturn, in turn enabling the Trade Association’s members to grow and prosper through the exporting of goods and services.

In a recent survey of the BSIA’s Export Council members, more than 80% of respondents agreed that exporting became more important to their businesses during the recession. Indeed, many reported an increase in overseas business between 2012 and 2013.

The BSIA’s Export Council serves as a forum for developing business relationships between companies in the UK’s security industry and overseas buyers. It also acts as an invaluable port of call for overseas-based contacts interested in developing a working relationship with a UK company (or companies) either as a partner, customer or distributor. Exporting remains pivotal for UK security companies and the BSIA’s networking initiatives and events continue to establish and reinforce such links.

British security is playing an increasingly important role on the world stage as the global market continues to create new opportunities for ‘Best of British’ products and services from UK suppliers

British security is playing an increasingly important role on the world stage as the global market continues to create new opportunities for ‘Best of British’ products and services from UK suppliers

Government pledge on UK security exports

According to UKTI’s security export strategy, the worth of the global security market is forecast to reach £571 billion in 2016 through a projected growth of 9%. The Government has pledged to double overall UK exports to £1 trillion by 2020 which can only help push projected growth in the global security marketplace past that 9% target. This positive outlook is reinforced by the experiences of BSIA members who export, with more than 90% expecting their overseas business to increase during 2014-2015.

UKTI figures also estimate that UK security exporters now enjoy a 4.2% share of the global market for security products and services, a share which is also forecast to increase in line with projected growth for the global security market.

The Middle East boasts a fast-growing economy and a strong reputation for procuring British goods and services, thus giving BSIA members a head start when it comes to exporting. BSIA Export Council chairman Ian Moore stated: “Over the last few years, the Middle East has probably been the most attractive overseas security market for UK providers. It’s a natural target area for quality British companies.”

Emphasising the value of the Middle East to the Trade Association’s members, BSIA CEO James Kelly will soon be meeting with the First Secretary of the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in London to discuss how those members can make the most of this emerging market while also promoting the BSIA at a higher level within the UAE.

James Kelly: CEO at the BSIA

James Kelly: CEO at the BSIA

“I look forward to meeting with the First Secretary to promote bilateral trade between BSIA members in the UK and businesses, customers and distributors in the UAE,” explained Kelly. “The Middle East is continuing to grow as a leading export market for our members, and it’s important that fact is recognised at the appropriate levels of Government, both here at home and abroad.”

For those members of the BSIA who are new to exporting, or for whom the process isn’t yet a major part of their business, the BSIA assists with TAP (Trade Show Access Programme) funding. Such funding provides grants for eligible businesses to attend overseas trade shows. Although not a huge amount of money, this financing helps members gain crucial market knowledge, build experience of trade shows and glean invaluable advice and support from trade experts. Two thirds of BSIA members who exhibited abroad in 2013 took advantage of TAP funding.

It was recently discovered that UKTI’s ‘Passport to Export’ service has suffered from a reduction in funding. The BSIA is pressing the case with key Parliamentarians to ensure that TAP funding continues for SMEs as so many of the BSIA’s members have derived direct benefits from this.

Importance of TAP funding

At a recent meeting with Karen Bradley MP (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office with responsibility for security exports), James Kelly pressed the importance of TAP funding for BSIA members and, indeed, the wider UK economy.

“This Government has committed itself to doubling UK exports to £1 trillion by 2020 and has stated that exporting is a way out of these austere times,” asserted Kelly. “It goes completely against the Government’s strategy to be cutting this funding at such a crucial time for our businesses. We will continue to push this message to all levels of Government.”

According to UKTI’s security export strategy, the global security market is forecast to rise to £571 billion in 2016 through projected growth of 9%

According to UKTI’s security export strategy, the global security market is forecast to rise to £571 billion in 2016 through projected growth of 9%

Tobias Ellwood MP (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with ministerial responsibility for the Middle East) recently represented the UK at the 12th Annual UK-UAE Task Force. First established back in July 2010 following Prime Minister David Cameron visiting the UAE and meeting with Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nayhan (the UAE’s Foreign Minister), the Task Force aims to further strengthen ties between the two countries. As such, the BSIA is looking to meet with Ellwood at the MP’s earliest convenience to discuss the value of the Middle East to the UK private security industry.

At the recent Task Force meeting, Ellwood stated: “The UK and the UAE enjoy a close partnership based on deep historical links and shared interests. I’m pleased that we are able to agree to strengthen our partnerships across the sphere of investment.”

*For more information on the BSIA’s Export Council visit: http://www.bsia.co.uk/export-council/about-bsia-export-council

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Robert Hannigan begins director’s role at GCHQ

Robert Hannigan has now succeeded Sir Iain Lobban as director of GCHQ, his appointment made with the agreement of Prime Minister David Cameron and in consultation with Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister.

Robert Hannigan has been the Director General (Defence and Intelligence) at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) since 2010. Hannigan’s appointment (first announced back in April) at GCHQ was made following a recruitment process chaired by Sir Kim Darroch, National Security Adviser, that was open to crown and civil servants.

Foreign Secretary William Hague commented: “I’m delighted that Robert Hannigan has been appointed as the next Director of GCHQ. GCHQ’s world class work is vital to the safety and security of the United Kingdom. As well as his impressive personal qualities, Robert brings to the job a wealth of relevant experience in the fields of national security, counter-terrorism and international relations. I’d also like to thank Sir Iain Lobban for his consistently strong and professional leadership as Director of GCHQ since 2008.”

Commenting on his appointment, Robert Hannigan said: “It’s a privilege to be asked to lead GCHQ, an organisation which is so central to keeping the people of this country safe. I have great respect for the integrity and professionalism of the staff at GCHQ and for what they have achieved under the outstanding leadership of Sir Iain Lobban. I’m excited about meeting the challenges of the coming years alongside them.”

Robert Hannigan: the new Director of GCHQ

Robert Hannigan: the new Director of GCHQ

Sir Kim Darroch stated: “I’m delighted Robert Hannigan has been appointed Director of GCHQ. He will bring energy, flair, deep knowledge and extensive experience to the role, and I look forward to working closely with him. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Sir Iain Lobban. Iain has been a close friend and colleague over my time as National Security Adviser, and has done an absolutely outstanding job at an exceptionally testing time for the organisation.”

Robert Hannigan: the Curriculum Vitae

Robert Hannigan joined the FCO as Director General (Defence and Intelligence) on 29 March 2010. For a number of years he has advised the Prime Minister on counter-terrorism, intelligence and security policy.

Hannigan joined the Civil Service from the private sector, becoming Director of Communications for the Northern Ireland Office. He was then appointed to be principal adviser to (then) Prime Minister Tony Blair and various Secretaries of State for Northern Ireland on the peace process, assuming responsibility for negotiations with the political parties and other groups in addition to liaison with the Irish Government and US Administration.

Hannigan was also the Prime Minister’s Security Adviser and Head of Intelligence, Security and Resilience in the Cabinet Office from 2007 with responsibility for the UK’s National Security Strategy.

Hannigan has been a member of the Joint Intelligence Committee for many years and was responsible (in the Cabinet Office) for the funding of the three UK intelligence agencies. He has regularly chaired ‘COBR’ meetings on terrorist incidents.

He was also responsible for the UK’s first Cyber Security Strategy and oversaw the first National Security Strategy.

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Officer in life-threatening Samurai sword stand-off wins national Police Bravery Award

Sergeant Stephen Brown of the Metropolitan Police Service, who tackled and disarmed a man trying to slash him with a Samurai sword, has deservedly won a prestigious national Police Bravery Award.

With only his baton and CS spray to protect himself, and on his own, Sergeant Brown found himself fighting for his life as the man repeatedly swung the sword at his face and neck while ignoring orders to put the weapon down.

When the suspect swung for the officer again, Sergeant Brown discharged CS spray into the man’s face. The officer quickly moved towards his assailant and, while the sword was in the air, struck the man’s arm with his baton three times. On the third hit the man dropped the sword and fell to the floor.

Sergeant Brown immediately jumped on top of the man and was then joined by colleagues in restraining the individual. The offender was still struggling violently before being arrested after the incident, which occurred on Christmas Eve 2012 in north London.

Earlier that evening, the offender had repeatedly stabbed a woman. After he was detained by Sergeant Brown and his colleagues, officers discovered that the bag he was carrying contained an arsenal of weapons.

National Police Bravery Award

For his diligence and skill, Sergeant Brown has won the national Police Bravery Award. He was presented with the trophy at a ceremony held in central London attended by Home Secretary Theresa May, policing minister Mike Penning and Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM in addition to other dignitaries.

Earlier in the day, Sergeant Brown joined 65 of his colleagues from 31 police forces around the country for a reception at 10 Downing Street hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron and designed to recognise their heroic acts of bravery.

Sergeant Stephen Brown and Home Secretary Theresa May

Sergeant Stephen Brown and Home Secretary Theresa May

Home Secretary Theresa May said: “The actions of Sergeant Stephen Brown are a powerful reminder of the commitment and courage that police officers bring to their role. Sergeant Brown put his own life in danger to defuse a terrifying situation. His intervention protected members of the public and may well have saved the lives of others. We should reflect on the bravery shown by all the officers nominated and that displayed by all police officers in the course of their duties each day.”

Speaking about the prestigious award, Sergeant Brown commented: “I feel overwhelmed. Other people deserve it more and I feel very honoured to have won this award. I would do exactly the same thing again and it’s what every officer would have done in that situation.”

He continued: “The man needed to be tackled there and then. The woman he had attacked was innocent and unknown to him. He needed to be stopped. This is what we do as police officers. People call it brave but it’s just part of the job.”

Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “I’m constantly humbled and amazed by the selfless acts of bravery carried out by police officers on a day-to-day basis. For every act of courage and bravery recognised in the national Police Bravery Awards there are hundreds more occurring in our communities every day that go unrecognised. Each nominee is a credit to the police service and to the community they serve.”

Stephen Mann, CEO at Police Mutual, stated: “Every day, police officers across the country face incredibly difficult and dangerous situations and act with real heroism to protect the lives of others. All of the officers nominated for an award have shown great dedication to their duty and remarkable courage.”

Mann concluded: “Police Mutual is honoured to continue its sponsorship of the national Police Bravery Awards for the sixth consecutive year, and we give our sincere thanks to the men and women who keep us all safe.”

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Alex Younger appointed as next Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service

With the agreement of Prime Minister David Cameron, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has announced that Alex Younger is appointed as successor to Sir John Sawers as Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service. Younger will take up the appointment in November.

The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), often known as MI6, collects Britain’s foreign intelligence. The Service is based at Vauxhall Cross in London and provides Her Majesty’s Government with a global covert capability to promote and defend the national security and economic well-being of the United Kingdom.

Philip Hammond stated: “I’m pleased to announce that Alex Younger has been appointed as the next Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service. The work of MI6 is world class and its operation vital to the safety and security of the United Kingdom. Alex brings a wealth of relevant experience to the role, including his work in Afghanistan and helping keep the country safe during the London 2012 Olympics.”

Hammond added: “I’d also like to thank Sir John Sawers for his strong leadership and personal commitment to a modernising agenda. I wish him well for the future.”

Alex Younger: the next Chief of MI6

Alex Younger: the next Chief of MI6

Commenting on his appointment, Alex Younger said: “I’m delighted and honoured to become Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service and lead one of the best intelligence agencies in the world. Our dedicated staff work tirelessly against an array of threats that this country faces. They do so in close partnership with both MI5 and GCHQ with whom I’m looking forward to co-operating very closely.”

Younger also commented: “I would like to pay tribute to John Sawers for his lifetime’s dedication to the country and particularly to his time as Chief of MI6. He brought us into a new era, and I’m determined to build on this and bring my ideas for a modern Service to life.”

In response, Sir John Sawers said: “I’m delighted that my colleague and friend is taking over from me. He has played a vital part alongside me in modernising the SIS and ensuring that the Service is in the best possible shape to play its part in defending the country’s security and our values.”

Alex Younger: the Curriculum Vitae

Alex Younger is a career SIS officer and has been in the Service since 1991.

For the last two years he has been overseeing the Service’s intelligence operations worldwide. Younger has held overseas postings in Europe and the Middle East and was the senior SIS officer in Afghanistan.

He has filled a variety of operational roles in London, including leading the Service’s work on counter-terrorism in the three years running up to the 2012 Olympic Games.

Before joining the Service, Younger – an economics graduate – served as an officer in the British Army.

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‘Threat level from international terrorism raised’: Statement by Prime Minister David Cameron

On Friday afternoon, Prime Minister David Cameron gave a statement to the national media about the international terrorism threat level in the United Kingdom being increased from ‘Substantial’ to ‘Severe’.

The Home Secretary has confirmed that the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre has increased the threat level in the United Kingdom from ‘Substantial’ to ‘Severe’. This is the first time in three years that the threat to our country has been at this level.

My first priority as Prime Minister is to make sure we do everything possible to keep our people safe. Today, I want to set out the scale and nature of the threat we face and the comprehensive approach that we are taking to combat it.

We’ve all been shocked and sickened by the barbaric murder of American journalist James Foley and by the voice of what increasingly seems to have been a British terrorist recorded on that video. It was clear evidence – not that any more was needed – that this is not some foreign conflict thousands of miles from home that we can hope to ignore.

The ambition to create an extremist caliphate in the heart of Iraq and Syria is a threat to our own security here in the UK. That’s in addition to the many other al-Qaeda inspired terrorist groups existing in that region.

The first ISIL-inspired terrorist acts on the continent of Europe have already taken place. We now believe that at least 500 people have travelled from Britain to fight in Syria and, potentially, Iraq.

Poisonous ideology of Islamist extremism

Let’s be clear about the source of the threat that we face. The terrorist threat was not created by the Iraq war ten years ago. It existed even before the horrific attacks of 9/11, themselves some time before the Iraq war. This threat cannot be solved simply by dealing with the perceived grievances over Western foreign policy. Nor can it be dealt with by addressing poverty, dictatorship or instability in the region, as important as these things are.

The root cause of this threat to our security is quite clear. It’s a poisonous ideology of Islamist extremism that is condemned by all faiths and by all faith leaders. It believes in using the most brutal forms of terrorism to force people to accept a warped world view and to live in an almost medieval state. A state in which its own citizens would suffer unimaginable brutality, including barbaric beheadings of those who refuse to convert to their warped version of Islam, the enslavement and raping of women and the widespread slaughter of Muslims by fellow Muslims. As well, of course, as the exporting of terrorism abroad.

Prime Minister David Cameron

Prime Minister David Cameron

This is about a battle between Islam on the one hand and extremists who want to abuse Islam on the other. It’s absolutely vital that we make this distinction between religion and political ideology. Islam is a religion observed peacefully and devoutly by over one billion people. It’s a source of spiritual guidance which daily inspires millions to countless acts of kindness. Islamist extremism is a poisonous political ideology supported by a minority. These extremists, often funded by fanatics living comfortably far away from the battlefields, pervert the Islamic faith as a way of justifying their warped and barbaric ideology.

Now this is not a new problem. We have seen this extremism before here in our own country. We saw it with the sickening murder of Lee Rigby and with the home grown 7/7 bombers who blew up tube trains and buses. The links between what happens overseas and what happens here have also always been there. Many of those who sought to do us harm in the past have been foreign nationals living in Britain or even British citizens who have returned from terrorist training camps in Pakistan or elsewhere around the world.

What we’re now facing in Iraq with ISIL is a greater and deeper threat to our security than we have known before. In Afghanistan, the Taliban were prepared to play host to al-Qaeda, a terrorist organisation. With ISIL, we are facing a terrorist organisation not being hosted in a country but actually seeking to establish and then violently expand its own terrorist state. With their designs on expanding into Jordan and Lebanon and right up to the Turkish border, we could be facing a terrorist state on the shores of the Mediterranean and bordering a NATO member.

We cannot appease this ideology. We have to confront it at home and abroad. To do this we need a tough, intelligent, patient and comprehensive approach to defeat the terrorist threat at its source. Tough in that we need a firm security response whether that is action to go after the terrorists, international co-operation on intelligence and counter-terrorism or uncompromising measures against terrorists here at home.

Requirement for an intelligent political response

It also must be an intelligent political response. We must use all resources we have at our disposal – aid, diplomacy, political influence and our military. Learning the lessons of the past doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for our military. The military were vital in driving al-Qaeda from Afghanistan, and we support the US air strikes against ISIL in Iraq. The key point is that military force is just one element of what we can do. We need a much wider approach, working with neighbours in the region and addressing not just security but also politics.

We know that terrorist organisations thrive where there is political instability and weak or dysfunctional political institutions. We must support the building blocks of democracy, the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, the rights of minorities, free media, free association, a proper place in society for the army and show perseverance. Not just because these building blocks take time to put in place, but because we are in the middle of a generational struggle against a poisonous and extremist ideology that I believe we’ll be fighting for years and probably decades.

We will always take whatever action is necessary to keep the British people safe here at home. Britain has some of the finest and most effective security and intelligence services anywhere in the world. We will always act with urgency where needed, as we did with the emergency data retention legislation which is already yielding results.

Home Secretary Theresa May MP

Home Secretary Theresa May MP

We’ve already taken a whole range of measures to keep our people safe. We are stopping suspects from travelling by seizing passports. We’re barring foreign nationals from re-entering the UK. We’re depriving people of citizenship and we are legislating so that we can prosecute people for all terrorist activity, even where that activity takes place overseas.

We’ve also stepped up our operational response. Since last year, we’ve seen a fivefold increase in Syria-related arrests. We’ve seen port stops and cash seizures grow by over 50%. We’ve taken down 28,000 pieces of extremist material from the Internet this year alone, including 46 ISIL-related videos. We made clear that those who carry ISIL flags or seek to recruit to ISIL will be arrested and the material seized. We’ve also seen a 58% increase in referrals to our de-radicalisation programme called the ‘Channel Project’.

Listening to the Security Services

People are rightly concerned about so-called ‘foreign fighters’ who travel from Britain to Syria and Iraq, take part in terrorist acts and then come back to threaten our security here at home. The scale of this threat is growing but there will be no knee jerk reactions. We will respond calmly and with purpose. We’ll do so driven by the evidence and the importance of maintaining the liberty that is the hallmark of the society we defend, but we have to listen carefully to the security and intelligence officers who do so much every day to keep us safe.

I recently chaired a meeting with our intelligence and security services and we agreed that the answer to this threat was not to dream up some sweeping new power that would be ineffective in practice. However, it’s becoming clear that there are some gaps in our armoury, and we need to strengthen them. We need to do more to stop people travelling, to stop those who do go from returning and to deal decisively with those who are already here. I’ll be making a statement in the House of Commons on Monday 1 September. This will include further steps to stop people travelling with new legislation that will make it easier to take people’s passports away.

As well as being tough, patient and intelligent, we also need to take a comprehensive approach. Dealing with this threat is not just about new powers. It’s about how we combat extremism in all its forms. We need to tackle that ideology of Islamist extremism head on at root before it takes the form of violence and terror. That means challenging the thinking of extremist ideologues, identifying the groups in this country that push an extremist agenda and countering them by empowering the overwhelming majority who believe in the British values of democracy, the rule of law and respect for minorities.

Beating the scourge of extremism

That is why, as Prime Minister, I have driven a new approach to tackling radicalisation and counter-extremism in Britain, focusing on all types of extremism and not just violent extremism. I set this out in my Munich speech in 2011 and I’ve driven this forward through my extremism task force. This has included stopping the funding of organisations that promote extremism, banning hate preachers and ensuring that every part of Government and the state from schools and universities through to prisons is focused on beating the scourge of extremism. This task force will continue to meet on a regular basis.

Britain is an open, tolerant and free nation. We are a country that backs people in every community who want to work hard, make a contribution and build a life for themselves and their families. We cannot stand by and allow our openness to be confused with a tolerance of extremism, or one that encourages different cultures to live separate lives and allows people to behave in ways that run completely counter to our values.

Adhering to British values is not an option or a choice. It is a duty for those who live in these islands. In the end, it is only by standing up for these values that we will defeat the extremists, protect our way of life and keep all of our people safe.

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100 in 100 2014: creating new apprenticeships for UK security

The official launch of 100 in 100 2014 – the fourth annual drive to energise more brand new apprenticeships across the security world – took place at a special presentation held in the IFSECGlobal.com Centre Stage Theatre at IFSEC International 2014 on Wednesday 18 June.

100 in 100 aims to energise 100 or more new apprenticeships in the UK security sector within a 100-day timeline starting at IFSEC International 2014 (which ran from 17-19 June at ExCeL, London).

“Last year, the 100 in 100 campaign exceeded its target and even caught the eye of the Government with a personal letter of congratulations from Prime Minister David Cameron,” said Simon Banks, Group Managing Director at the CSL DualCom Group and the co-founder of 100 in 100.

“This publicity is crucial in order to keep employers’ minds focused on apprenticeships as a credible recruitment source. Employers must engage with apprenticeships and recognise how valuable an apprentice can be within their company in a relatively short time frame.”

Simon Banks: co-founder of 100 in 100

Simon Banks: co-founder of 100 in 100

Banks also stated: “In just three years, the right candidate can become integral to the team and a great source of fresh ideas and skills. When you also factor in the potential skills gap predicted in the UK by 2020, it really is very important for employers to act now. Put simply, there has never been a better time to hire an apprentice.”

The political will is also there to make apprenticeships work. Matthew Hancock MP – the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning – is once again supporting the 100 in 100 campaign.

New apprenticeship opportunities in the UK security sector

Supporting the 2014 campaign are CSL DualCom and Skills for Security as well as the major inspectorates – the National Security Inspectorate and the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board.

Also backing the apprenticeships drive are the British Security Industry Association, the Fire Industry Association and the Fire Protection Association.

Matthew Hancock MP: supporting this year's apprenticeships drive in the security sector

Matthew Hancock MP: supporting this year’s apprenticeships drive in the security sector

As always, UBM Live’s Security and Fire Portfolio (with http://www.IFSECGlobal.com at its heart) is the campaign’s official media partner.

100 in 100 focuses on all types of apprenticeship, among them installation engineers, manufacturing engineers, business administration, Human Resources, marketing and PR.

Apprentices usually take around 18 months to gain Level 2 qualifications, with a further 18 months required to take the apprentice to a Level 3.

Employers embracing the opportunities on offer will be responsible for paying employment costs of at least the minimum wage (for 16-18 year-olds and 19-year-olds in the first year of their apprenticeship). Employers will also be required to provide work-based training within their companies.

Skills for Security has again committed to look after paperwork for those organisations willing to employ new apprentices, right from initial sign-up through to appointing the college or training provider.

The training and skills body will also draw down Government funding on each participating company’s behalf.

Why should your company take on apprentices?

According to the National Apprenticeship Service research undertaken in 2010, 77% of employers canvassed believe apprenticeships make them more competitive. The research also showed that 80% of employers believe apprenticeships reduce their staff turnover, while over 80% of consumers favour using those companies that take on new apprentices.

That’s why your company should take on apprentices NOW!

Richard Jenkins – CEO at the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) – commented: “It’s vital to engage with young people and encourage them to view our industry as a credible and rewarding career choice. The NSI’s mission is to raise standards in the industry and, to help achieve this, young enthusiastic talent must be nurtured in order to carry the industry forward in a professional manner. The NSI wholeheartedly supports the 100 in 100 initiative and encourages employers to seriously consider the many benefits that apprenticeships can bring to their businesses.”

Richard Jenkins: CEO at the NSI

Richard Jenkins: CEO at the NSI

Geoff Tate – Chief Executive of the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) – added: “We’ve supported the 100 in 100 initiative since its inception and we’re delighted that it has been so successful. To ensure that the industry continues to service the market well, we need to make certain that the skills base of those just starting to work in the security sector is as good as it possibly can be. The success of this project is testament to the enthusiasm of all those involved, and to the resilience of the sector overall.”

Geoff Tate: CEO at the SSAIB

Geoff Tate: CEO at the SSAIB

What the employers have to say

Speaking from the perspective of an employer fully committed to taking on apprentices, Anthony King – Managing Director at Kings Security – explained: “Kings Security has always believed in apprentice investment and, over the last 30 years, we have increased our intake each year. At the moment we average 50 apprentices every 12 months, and we’re proud to host an onsite Learning Centre.”

King continued: “By training an apprentice you’ll nurture an employee with the exact skill-set required by your business so the initial time spent training them pays dividends in the future. Many former apprentices now head up our teams of engineers. Kings Security is committed to continue our apprentice investment for future years.”

Kings Security's managing director Anthony King

Kings Security’s managing director Anthony King

Another keen supporter of 100 in 100 is Lucy Banham, Director at The Banham Group. “At the Banham Group, we use the apprenticeship scheme to bring into the business young individuals who are keen to learn. It’s important for any company to safeguard their future by nurturing a variety of experience and ages within their workforce.”

Importantly, Banham added: “The fact that a potential apprentice has sought out an apprenticeship with your business shows an immediate level of commitment. They are prepared to go through training and college work in order to prove to us as an employer that they really want a job at the end of the process. We also find that apprentices are good, mature candidates as they have made this important career decision so early on.”

Telephone Skills for Security’s Customer Relations Team on 01905 744000 TODAY and play your part in the UK security apprenticeships drive for 2014.

For further information visit: http://www.csldual.com/uk/news/get-apprentice-aware-in-2014.html or e-mail: TheApprentice@csldual.com

About IFSEC International 2014

IFSEC International 2014 showcased effective and efficient security solutions across a wide range of product areas, among them: Access Control, Integrated Security, Smart Buildings, Intruder Alarms, Perimeter Protection, Physical Security, Safe Cities and Video Surveillance.

IFSEC International is the largest security event to showcase a range of solutions for the entire security buying chain. Visitors are able to attend the IFSEC Academy and experience the wealth of education on offer from many industry leaders and experts in chosen disciplines.

IFSEC International 2014 is part of UBM’s Protection and Management 2014. Registration for IFSEC International is open and gives badge holders access to all the shows within Protection and Management 2014 including: FIREX International, The Facilities Show, Safety & Health Expo, Energy & Environment Expo and Service Management Expo.

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