British security industry bucks trend as demand for security officers soars

Demand for security officers in the UK is soaring with businesses recruiting an estimated 65,000 new security specialists over the last six months.

The figures published by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), which represents the UK’s private security firms, goes against a backdrop of hiring freezes and job cuts in the country.

A survey of BSIA members suggests security businesses have increased the size of their workforces by 16% since July 2022.

Mike Reddington, Chief Executive at the BSIA, said: “The recruitment of new security officers is essential for ensuring public safety – and it’s heartening to see security booming amid the economic uncertainty.

“More and more people are recognising the wide range of opportunities and career progression the sector offers for talent cut loose from elsewhere. 

“As an industry body we’re working hard to improve the perception of the security industry and attract young people and women by highlighting the incredible role security officers play in keeping people and property safe and protected.

“There’s a lot more to the job than wearing a hi-vis vest.”

‘Demand fuelled by legislation and return of major events’

The BSIA believes the recruitment drive has been fuelled by new industry legislation and the return of major events and festivals in 2023 following cancellations due to Covid.

Furthermore, a major national recruitment initiative called ‘People, Property, Places: Professionally Protected’ launched by the BSIA in 2022 focused on improving perceptions of a career in the industry and raising awareness of the crucial work security officers do. 

Data from the industry’s regulator, the Security Industry Authority (SIA), suggests that young people and women are two important groups contributing to the industry’s growth.

In the twelve months to March 2023, the biggest increase in the licensed security officer population was in the 18-25 age bracket with a 14% increase.

Over the same period there was a 6% increase in licenced female security officers, double the 3% increase in licenced male officers.

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