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EY Foundation and The Security Institute join forces on employability programme

30 November 2020

A NEW employability programme is being launched by the EY Foundation and The Security Institute with widespread support from across the sector – including from the Security Industry Authority (SIA) – to help break down barriers to employment for less advantaged young people wanting to begin a career within the security sector.

In practice, the programme will continue the EY Foundation’s ongoing work as a social mobility charity and, in tandem, expands on The Security Institute’s own #NextGen initiative which has already received a good deal of praise.

The ‘Secure Futures’ Programme will support 27 youngsters aged between 16 and 18 from low-income backgrounds such that they can access invaluable experience within the security industry, empowering them to consider pursuing careers working within the sector. The ‘Secure Futures’ Programme will be delivered virtually from February next year, thereby affording young people access to the wide range of careers on offer in the security world.

This is the EY Foundation’s first multi-employer collaboration and, thanks to the support of its sponsors from across the sector, the programme will involve a number of well-known organisations who’ll provide the 27 young people with paid work experience, opportunities to gain a variety of transferable skills and also all-important mentoring from a security professional through 2021 in order to help them identify their next steps.

Security is a UK growth sector, with jobs available across physical and cyber security and in security firms. Security roles are embedded in all kinds of private sector businesses as well as in the public sector. Given this, the programme has been designed to introduce young people to the vast career opportunities within security.

Relevant skills and experience

EY Foundation CEO Maryanne Matthews commented: “We’re delighted to be working with The Security Institute and the SIA on what is our first cross-sector collaboration, bringing together businesses and industry bodies from across the sector to ensure the young people we support gain relevant skills and experience such that they can then access the jobs of the future in such an important and growing sector.”

Paul Barnard CSyP MSyI, director of youth engagement at The Security Institute, responded: “We’re pleased to be partnering with the EY Foundation in launching the ‘Secure Futures’ Programme, which will make the security sector more accessible and attractive for young people. Young people are an essential component of our workforce. They offer a fresh perspective and insights that can inform innovative solutions to long-standing issues.”

Barnard added: “There are so many areas of security for which the younger generation can provide invaluable contributions, from the issues surrounding knife crime through to emerging cyber security threats. We need to embrace young people and help nurture their skills. In doing so, we will help to secure the sector’s future prospects.”

Nathan Salmon, criminal investigations manager at the SIA, observed: “In recent years, the SIA has focused on investing confiscated funds (under the Proceeds of Crime Act) in skills and professionalism across the private security industry, and particularly so where this opens up career opportunities for young people . The ‘Secure Futures’ Programme is an exciting partnership that will benefit young people, linking them with businesses in the industry. This is a great initiative which will support the security business sector’s next generation and we very much look forward to seeing the innovation and energy from all the young people taking part.”

*More information on careers in security is available at: https://security-institute.org/about/nextgen/

**The sponsors underpinning the ‘Secure Futures’ Programme are CIS Security, the City of London Crime Prevention Association, ICTS UK, Wilson James, the Nineteen Group, the SIA, the Security Awareness Special Interest Group (SASIG), The Walt Disney Company’s Global Security (EMEA) Division, Ward Security and The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals