Richard Moore, Commercial Director of Skills for Security (SfS) - the skills body for the private security sector - compares the private security sector in the UK and India in light of a recent trip to New Delhi where he took part in a Security Skills and education conclave.
With the second fastest growing services sector worldwide, India employs around 7 million people in the private security sector - a figure that is expected to rise to around 10 million by 2022. Recently, I had the opportunity to see first-hand how India’s Private Security environment compares to that of the UK.
In India, the private security sector is very much seen as a ‘force multiplier’ for the police given the low police-to-civilian ratio. While the UK may also face certain resource issues, better access to technology, such as CCTV helps mitigate them. Such technology applications are somewhat ‘out of reach’ in India at the moment driving demand for manpower provided by the private security sector.
Both in India and the UK, there is an emphasis on attracting new talent into the private security sector and developing national occupational standards. Similarly, at the conclave in New Delhi, it was evident that there is a growing need cross-nationally for trainer programmes and accreditation of training providers and courses.
The theme at the Security Skills and education conclave was, ‘Excellence through Skills and Education’. The event also focussed on the need to define career pathways and specialised training to fulfil the requirements of learners and the industry as a whole.
One thing I noticed about the Delhi audience was that there was a keen interest in learning about the UK’s private security sector and recent SfS developments. Similarly, many were interested in how Security Industry Authority licencing works for both individuals and businesses.
SfS has partnered with the Security Sector Skill Development Council (SSSDC) on aUK/India education and research initiative (UKIERI). Here we researched the skills challenges in the UK’s private security sector whilst sharing the research methodologies with the SSSDC in India.
In the wake of our partnership, India is now carrying out its very first labour market intelligence survey on the private security sector via partner Empowered Skills. There have already been eight round table discussions with more planned for the future. Surveys are also underway in twelve cities. The findings for India will be announced at an event organised by the Central Association of Private Security Industry (CAPSI) in November 2014. The UK part of the research was completed by SfS in July 2014.