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Editor, IFSEC Global

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Adam Bannister was Editor of IFSEC Global from 2014 through to November 2019. Adam is also a former Managing Editor at Dynamis Online Media Group.
March 16, 2016

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National Apprenticeship Week 2016: Kings Security Apprentices on their Careers and Winning ‘Engineers of Tomorrow’

Kings security excellence awards

Jack Baker and Harrison Cook are second and third from the left. Pictured here with joint winners Carlos and Bobby Dhunay, Telcam Security Systems

With National Apprenticeship Week upon us we spoke to two former winners of a competition that promotes young talent in the security industry.

Jack Baker and Harrison Cook (who we also interviewed on video last year) are in the third year of their apprenticeships at Bradford-based Kings Security. In 2015 they pitted their skills against other apprentice installers in a live, 90-minute installation challenge at Europe’s largest security exhibition, IFSEC International. A panel of judges from security inspectorates NSI and SSAIB allocated points based on performance in the various disciplines.

IFSEC Global: Hi, Jack and Harrison. How did you get on in the Engineers of Tomorrow competition last year?

Harrison Cook: We did really well, we got through the heats… We did better much better than we had expected.

IG: And how did the competition work?

Jack Baker: We got given the devices, already set on the wall. We had to set them all up, make sure they all worked when powered up.

We had a signal device to commission and test through. When it came to marking the invigilators tested all the work we did.

We got marks for the commissioning device. We had to do readings on the panel, which we had to check to make sure they were right.

I think we only dropped two or three marks overall.

IG: As heat winners you and your employers were invited to the Security & Fire Excellence Awards where you were named joint overall winners with apprentices from Telcam Security Systems… 

HC: Yeah, it was a good night. It was good to be recognised for doing alright in the competition. A bit of an elevation really.

IG: So how do you feel you benefited personally from the competition?

JB: We feel like we’ve benefited from working together, because we work together on site as well. We feel that it’s filled us with confidence, because we came joint first overall, which is quite a big thing.

IG: How do you feel your career might benefit?

Harrison: I think it encourages us to train other trainees when we’re fully qualified. Gives us a reason to push them.

IG: You’re in your third year as apprentices at Kings. Happy with your choice of company?

JB: Kings are a big family really. They all work closely together. Everyone knows who everyone is. There is a big training and development side here at Kings.

IG: Indeed, Kings Security also won Security Training Initiative of the Year at the Security and Fire Excellence Awards…

HC: The [career] opportunities as well.

IG: What are your priorities personally for getting more training and learning new skills?

HC: We’re just finishing our qualification in electronic security at the minute. Then we’ve got opportunities to go onto other areas like fire and access control.

And we’re already doing IT commissioning, both of us. So the actual commissioning of systems, we’re training and working on them on site.

IG: Thanks both. Anything you want to add at all?

HC: I’d encourage anyone who is training or working as an apprentice to have a go at the Engineers of Tomorrow competition. It does help you get a bit of confidence and help you to work on your own system, to get a chance to work on panels daily.

Engineers of Tomorrow is part of Apprenticeships for Fire & Security, an initiative that places apprentices into careers in the security industry and supports their development. Sponsored by IFSEC, CSL DualCom, NSI, SSAIB and Skills for Security, the scheme has already helped launch the careers of more than 3,000 young apprentices.

To nominate yourself or a colleague to take part in this year’s Engineers of Tomorrow competition or to get more information, please visit the IFSEC event website.

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