The Autumn is a time for new beginnings each year. With the Summer over, most of us turn our thoughts back to work and the continued development of our careers – be that employment, education or a mixture of both.
For many young people reaching the end of their schooling (between 16 – 18 years where ‘education’ is still compulsory) that often means college or university. However, this isn’t for everyone and a decent apprenticeship can be the ideal alternative!
I am a highly passionate supporter of apprenticeships. If you have a career sector or industry in your sights, they are a brilliant way to get hands-on experience and to make the sort of professional connections that will help you gain the career you want.
There is of course nothing at all wrong with taking an academic route to your chosen career, but for some people, this is too far removed from their chosen industry and they just want to roll their sleeves up and get stuck in!
A few years ago, TDSi championed a drive to interest students in what is now known as ‘Higher Apprenticeships’ (which didn’t really exist across the wider industry landscape back then). The concept of taking a talented A-Level graduate, putting them through day-release training for an HND and then retaining them in the business (through solid career progression and encouragement), is much easier now.
Security as a Career
For those of us in the industry, it is evident that the security sector is crying out for fresh talent. Be that on the physical security side or electronic security, there simply aren’t enough people going through university technical degree education to meet this.
The security industry needs to attract fresh blood into our businesses and to train them up with the relevant education and instruction that will ultimately benefit them, the organisation, the sector and every other person and organisation that relies on expert security (which directly and indirectly is most of us!) We gain enthusiastic people with fresh new ideas, which are the driving force of any progressive industry.
There are already a lot of initiatives within the security sector designed to encourage this interest from potential talent. Skills for Security, the BSIA, and CSL (amongst many others) are encouraging people to sign up for apprenticeships.
Mixing Academia with Industry Experience
As mentioned, Higher Apprenticeships are also now an accepted and well-supported concept. These provide students with a perfect route to join the workforce and get a high-level education - but in such a way that it doesn’t cost them a fortune in tuition fees and student loan debts.
As well as the sponsoring organisation paying many of the bills, there are other obvious advantages to this approach. You gain the academic education and training you need, along with the practical experience and networking connections that dedicated university students would struggle to attain.
The organisation offering the apprenticeship also shows a serious commitment to your future career by offering you a role once the training is complete. This is truly a win-win for both sides, with the promise of a good job and the delivery of a motivated, well-trained and experienced individual for the business.
With significant changes taking place in the UK (especially with Brexit approaching), it makes a lot of sense for the security industry and potential recruits to engage in mutually beneficial apprenticeship schemes.
For years many young people have viewed their school leaving options as either joining the workforce from scratch (including the military or similar organisations) or going to university. For many, this means finding a job to give them a foot on the ladder (which sadly is often outside their chosen career path) or they are undecided and take academic courses at university that don’t necessarily lead to a career in themselves.
Offering another solid option that benefits everyone makes perfect sense. I have no doubt that many people are now starting university or jobs with narrow career paths and wished they had an alternative. Many more are approaching their final year at school and want some insights into their career options and wider choices.
I would encourage anyone in these positions to consider a potential apprenticeships in security – it’s a great sector to work in and one that will always be vital to society as a whole.