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Collaboration the key to a better security workforce

NZ Security, June/July 2017

NZSA and Skills point to positive steps in the improvement of industry trainingNZSA and Skills point to positive steps in the improvement of industry training


Some in the industry have pointed out that there has been room for improvement in training for security staff. And when training is not up to scratch, this can have knock-on effects for the wider industry. The security industry needs to work together if it wants to reach its goals – simple as that. 


“A lot of security staff aren’t seen as highly skilled by the public, and this is perpetuated by the low rates that many companies charge,” explains Gary Morrison, CEO of NZSA.

“In turn, this makes it difficult to attract a high calibre of workers into the industry.”

Instead of being fixated on the negatives, however, NZSA and Skills believe it will be more productive to focus on what steps can be taken to improve industry training, and make sure security staff are operating at a consistently high standard.

Already, there are numerous examples of what can be achieved when the industry works together. Take a look at the Targeted Review of Quali cations (TRoQ), for example. This process resulted in massive steps forward for the National Certificate in Security (Levels 2 and 3), all shaped with considerable industry input.

The NZSA also hosted successful Industry Forums that brought stakeholders together, leading to improved training outcomes for security staff. These include the development of a call centre qualification tailored for monitoring and communication centres and specialised training for security technicians.


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 However, we know that this is only the beginning, and we as an industry need to keep working together. So what else can be done?

Firstly, we want to promote a culture of training in security businesses. Many leading companies in the industry have built their success on a commitment to supporting their staff’s professional development.

“Companies that invest in training have a significant point of difference in the market. It shows customers that you’re committed to delivering a high quality of service,” says Morrison.

“Then there’s the human resources aspect – you’re showing your staff that you take their growth seriously, and also making sure they have the skills and confidence to comply with Health & Safety requirements.”

There also needs to be a collaborative effort to attract talent from key areas.

“School leavers are a major source of new entrants. The main barrier here is obviously age, as you need to be at least 18 to gain a security licence,” says Morrison.

“We’re doing a lot to make the transition easier, though. This includes working with the Ministry of Justice to see how we can make it easier for school leavers to enter the industry – for example, a ‘graduate’ licence. We’re also working with youth employment groups such as Workchoice to raise the profile of security to high school students.”

Morrison adds that it’s not just high school students that the industry needs to be better at reaching out to. There are also opportunities for people who are looking for a career change, as the security industry is so diverse and suited to people from all walks of life.

Which leads to the next point – people need to be better aware of the range of careers within security and the pathways that are available.

“We need to make the career pathways in security more visible to those at school, and those who may be considering entering the industry. The fact is, if you perform well, you have a great chance of getting promoted and setting yourself up for a great career,” says Morrison.

“People also need to be aware that the industry is so diverse now. It’s not just about guarding. There are some really technical roles available, for example in electronic security. The challenge is to raise awareness and understanding of this in the public eye.”

To achieve these goals, the industry needs to work on being more open and inclusive of everyone within it. Industry veterans, for example, can draw from their experience and help identify areas for improvement. On the other hand, newcomers to the industry can offer fresh insights and ways of thinking that are just as valuable.

NZSA and Skills have always worked with the belief that the industry’s success is our success. This year and beyond, we are committing to working closer – together and with the wider industry – more than ever before. We want you to be part of the picture as well. 


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