Nineteen people are starting new careers in the security sector, thanks to training funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
The adult learners from across the West Midlands region have all been offered jobs after completing an intensive five-week course at a security sector training academy, to equip them with the qualifications and experience needed by the industry.
The WMCA has funded the course through the adult education budget, which is enabling local people to get the skills needed for new jobs, together with upskilling those in low-income work.
Nineteen learners celebrate getting new jobs in the security sector with (left) Paul Lawton-Jones from Mercury Training, (third left) Maria Randall from Man Commercial Protection, (seventh left) Graham Reynolds from Telford College and (right) Philip Tillman from the WMCA
The programme was delivered by Mercury Training, based in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, working in partnership with Telford College, Jobcentre Plus and local employers.
The learners, who were all unemployed before starting the course, have gained level 2 certificates in customer service and working as a door supervisor in the private security industry. This second qualification is essential to gain the licences needed to work in the sector.
The course included work experience for the learners to use the skills and knowledge gained during their classroom training in a real-life environment.
Mercury Training also arranged job interviews with local employers, which have resulted in job offers for all 19 learners.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “This is a great example of how we are helping local people to get new jobs by taking control of the adult education budget.
“By understanding what employers need from their workforce we can work with further education colleges and training providers to make sure these needs are met.
“It is great to see another 19 people gain employment from this approach, and massive congratulations must go to them for completing this training programme.”
Cllr George Duggins, leader of Coventry City Council and WMCA portfolio holder for productivity and skills, said: “We are freeing up our skills system to respond to local challenges and collectively achieve our aims of inclusive growth across the WMCA area.
“Controlling the adult education budget means we are using our expert knowledge of the region to provide targeted support to those people who need it most.”
Samantha Thomas, aged 34, from Wolverhampton, worked in retail for 17 years and was a branch manager for five years. She has now been offered a job by Solihull-based security company Man Commercial Protection.
She said: “The part of retail I enjoyed most was the security aspect, so I decided to change my career and go into this sector. I’m hoping to further my career by moving into management within the industry.”
Maria Randall, office manager for Man Commercial Protection, said: “This training programme is brilliant for us, as we regularly bring new staff into the business. We’re very pleased to be able to offer Samantha a job with us.”
David Powles, regional manager for Lodge Security, another of the employers involved in the programme, said: “The quality of candidates is excellent. They are all trained to the highest standards, so we know they can start work straightaway and we don’t need to train them ourselves.”
Paul Lawton-Jones, managing director of Mercury Training, said: “We are very proud of our students. Their graduation was the culmination of their commitment over the past five weeks, and an opportunity to celebrate their success and the next steps on their journey into employment. We will be running further similar courses over the coming months.”
Graham Reynolds, business programme manager at Telford College, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Mercury Training on this sector-based work academy for the security industry. It’s fantastic that all the students have gained new jobs, and we wish them all the best for the future.”
The region’s £126m adult education budget was devolved to the WMCA from central Government in autumn 2019.
Watch Samantha Thomas, one of the learners who has been offered a job, talking about her ambitions for the future on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srono3x7p8s&feature=youtu.be