Skills for Security and WorldSkills UK join forces to raise awareness of apprenticeship opportunities

Skills for Security and WorldSkills UK are launching a new Electronic Security Systems Competition at this year’s WorldSkills UK LIVE to raise awareness of apprenticeship and career opportunities in the security and surveillance industry.

Attracting over 70,000 visitors, WorldSkills UK LIVE is the UK’s largest skills, apprenticeships and careers event. Taking place from 21-23 November at the NEC in Birmingham, the event also hosts the national finals of the WorldSkills UK competitions which see the UK’s top apprentices and students compete to win Gold, Silver and Bronze in their chosen skill.

This year, for the first time, visitors to WorldSkills UK LIVE will be able to watch apprentices take part in the Electronic Security Systems Competition which has been designed to reflect the role of an electronic security engineer and the high standards that are always expected within the industry.

Skills for Security is supported in its running of the Electronic Security Systems Competition (and its promotion of apprenticeship and career opportunities in the industry) by CSL, Hikvision and Texecom.

Parisa Shirazi, head of education and competitions for WorldSkills UK, said: “In line with the Government’s Industrial Strategy we’re developing our portfolio of skills competitions to reflect economies which are essential for UK productivity and growth. This is why we felt it essential to have a competition that showcased the security and surveillance industry. It’s a great way to enable young people to understand how new technologies are shaping the industry, the skills that are required to work as an engineer and for them to learn about the sheer range of training and career opportunities now available to them.”

David Scott

David Scott

David Scott, the newly-appointed managing director of Skills for Security, added: “The launch of this competition in partnership with WorldSkills UK will improve the standardisation of training and raise participation in apprenticeships, helping to reduce the skills shortage that we’re currently experiencing.

Scott went on to comment: “We’re hugely grateful to CSL, Hikvision and Texecom for their support, both financially and in terms of resources, as without this backing we wouldn’t be able to run the competition and engage a new generation of engineers.”

Enhancing awareness

With the launch of the new Electronic Security Systems Competition, CSL, Hikvision and Texecom are fervently hoping that it will increase awareness of the security and surveillance industry, encourage young people to consider a career as an engineer in the sector and raise the standard of training throughout the UK for those already working in this arena.

Joe Sheppard, brand and marketing manager for CSL, explained to Risk Xtra: “We’ve brought together over 20 expert training providers from across the industry and the UK to create a competition that mirrors real-life scenarios and prepares those taking part for the world of work. Combining this expertise with the rigorous WorldSkills UK training standards has helped us to produce a world-leading competition that ensures young people looking for a career in security and surveillance have the transferable skills needed to keep up with the ever-hastening pace of change, helping to secure the future of the industry.”

Justin Hollis, marketing director for Hikvision in the UK & Ireland, added: “Working with WorldSkills UK and Skills for Security aligns with Hikvision’s corporate strategy of investing in new blood for the UK’s security and surveillance industry. The investment mirrors the way in which we’ve invested in our own UK business, increasing headcount, opening new offices and launching a brand new R&D Centre.”

Clym Brown

Clym Brown

Clym Brown, marketing director for intruder detection solutions specialist Texecom, commented: “Texecom has been a long-standing supporter of engineering apprentice training within the security industry, and we’re delighted to partner with WorldSkills UK and Skills for Security for the launch of this new competition. Electronic security fundamentally protects people’s lives and livelihoods and, as such, is a very worthwhile endeavour for youngsters to consider as a career choice. This new competition will highlight the skills and innovation in the industry to a wider audience, as well as increasing the training level and knowledge base of those electronic security apprentices already involved.”

WorldSkills UK LIVE is free to attend. To register for tickets and find out more about the Electronic Security Systems Competition visit www.worldskillsuk.org

New recruits at Skills for Security

Skills for Security has appointed Catherine Heaton and Andrew Proudfoot as, respectively, the organisation’s new quality manager and tutor. The new recruits will be based at the Knutsford Training Centre in Cheshire.

Heaton’s a qualified electrician by trade and has extensive knowledge in fire alarm systems, intruder and access control solutions within commercial and industrial projects. Heaton’s also experienced in professional construction and project management.

After qualifying as a fire and security assessor and achieving her IQA/Lead IQA award, Heaton then went on to manage a team of 16 engineering apprentices.

Andy Proudfoot

Andy Proudfoot

Proudfoot brings 40 years of experience in the security industry to the role having started his career with an intruder alarm company as an installation engineer, gaining significant experience with the likes of Chubb Fire & Security, Ernitec (UK) Ltd and NetVu Limited.

He believes his path through the industry has connected him with almost every aspect of electronic security and welcomes the opportunity to share his skills and experience with others learning the business.

Skills for Security’s managing director David Scott commented: “I’m absolutely delighted that Catherine and Andrew are joining the Skills for Security team.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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