What are some of the innovations in the security industry?

AI and Tech are impacting all industries, but I thought it would be interesting to investigate some of the innovations that are impacting jobs in security, the skills needed to operate in this sector and how fast these changes are happening.

The most recent valuation of the UK security industry currently sits at around £10.6b distributed over 11,500 companies and the current total number of licences in the UK stands at 429,000 with the oldest licence holder at 98 years of age.

The government releases a monthly report of the total number of licences in the UK.

Axiom Personnel specialises in manned security officers with the majority of these jobs being either Door Supervisors or CCTV licence holders, it is interesting to see that Close Protection licences are currently running at almost 15000 licences in the UK, with 5,000 licence holders in Cash and Valuables in Transit. These numbers of licences seem high in comparison to the number of current offices working in the field, but Covid has apparently had a dramatic impact on the number of SIA officers that have remained working in security. The research found that the industry has lost approx. 15% of staff who have not returned, stated that low pay, unsociable hours, stress, lack of career progression and potential harm to self as reasons for not returning to the sector. Many of those who have left have moved into driving and delivery jobs, warehouse fulfilment and retail jobs and are not planning on returning.

Many of the new technologies coming into the sector will help to address the low employment numbers, with Biometrics, iris scanning, and fingerprint access, this will help support venues and workplaces rather than a manned guard. An example of this in retail is the new Amazon shops in London, where you can only get into the store with your Amazon Prime and everything you leave with is charged to your Amazon account. The closest store to us in Romford is currently in Canary Wharf, but this may not yet be the way forward for retailers as 3 stores closed in July this year in Ealing, Wandsworth and East Sheen.

Other innovations are the use of drones for events like concerts and football matches, reducing the need for manned guards, but this could mean the skills that an SIA guard will need in the future, will potentially include operating Body cameras and flying drones. This will change the types of skills needed and who might be attracted to work in the industry, it may also help improve pay rates. Some of the larger security companies like G4S are already offering this as one of their services.

If you are looking for a recruitment team that understands the needs of the security industry, get in touch for an initial consultation with one of our consultants.