Safe and se­cure, and so is the job

Job­seek­ers can se­cure a fu­ture in this grow­ing in­dus­try, writes Cara Jenkin

The Courier-Mail - Career One - - Job Focus -

WORK­ERS can earn high hourly rates and pick their hours – with­out hav­ing fin­ished high school – in a field that is in­creas­ingly look­ing for staff who do not match the stereo­type.

The se­cu­rity in­dus­try of­ten is as­so­ci­ated with pro­vid­ing work for big burly blokes but it is work­ers of all sizes, ages and gen­ders that are sought to fill in­creas­ing va­can­cies.

Na­tional se­cu­rity in­dus­try em­ploy­ment has grown by 29 per cent, or 14,000 jobs, in the past five years to peak at 62,500 work­ers this year, ABS fig­ures show.

Part-time jobs have in­creased the most in the past decade, with a 48 per cent rise in jobs. About one in four jobs are part time. Aver­age weekly earn­ings are $1044, while shift rates start at $18 an hour.

More ex­pe­ri­enced staff can re­ceive up to $35 an hour.

In­ter­na­tional Se­cu­rity Train­ing Academy chief ex­ec­u­tive and founder Tim Sell says wages can be much greater, depend­ing on when and for what the worker is re­quired, such as $65 an hour on Sun­days. He says the in­dus­try op­er­ates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, mean­ing the hours and work are avail­able to suit any worker’s needs.

Se­cu­rity work spikes when vi­o­lence or crime oc­curs in a com­mu­nity but there is much more to the job than as­set pro­tec­tion – mean­ing a plethora of jobs for work­ers, says Sell.

“For ex­am­ple af­ter Septem­ber 11, the se­cu­rity in­dus­try tripled through­out Aus­tralia and that was overnight,” he says.

“It stayed that way for six to 12 months. In Mel­bourne, for ex­am­ple, with its en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try, things like the Grand Prix, ten­nis, foot­ball, soc­cer and so on, in­ter­na­tional events come here on a reg­u­lar ba­sis and there’s al­ways work avail­able for these events when re­quired.

“We also have air­ports and shop­ping cen­tres, which are al­ways look­ing for se­cu­rity of­fi­cers. One of the big­gest ben­e­fits about get­ting into the in­dus­try is there’s al­ways work avail­able.” Sell says work also has been cre­ated in the past 20 years through the pri­vati­sa­tion of se­cu­rity ser­vices by gov­ern­ments, away from the po­lice and mil­i­tary, in part largely be­cause of im­proved train­ing and the clear­ances work­ers re­ceive to be em­ployed. Work is var­ied. One day they may be work­ing at a sport­ing event, the next a mag­is­trates court.

“They have to be 18 years of age, then they can do the course, get their fin­ger­prints taken, a crim­i­nal record check done and then they get their li­cence once they’ve com­pleted the course,” Sell says. “Any per­son can do that.” Men make up 86 per cent of the work­force and are more likely to have phys­i­cal tasks and be more com­fort­able work­ing on pa­trol at night.

But women are sought af­ter too be­cause they tend to have greater at­ten­tion to de­tail and bet­ter ob­ser­va­tion, ef­fi­ciency and com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills.

“Most se­cu­rity work is not about the phys­i­cal abil­ity, it’s about day-to-day ac­tiv­i­ties – help­ing people, cus­tomer ser­vice, re­solv­ing prob­lems, re­solv­ing con­flict and ba­si­cally look­ing af­ter the property of large cor­po­rate build­ings,” Sell says. Mean­while, be­hind the front line there’s also an

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