Editor, IFSEC Global

Author Bio ▼

James Moore is the Editor of IFSEC Global, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry. James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Global, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
April 14, 2022

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Secure Futures

Secure Futures: A fresh approach to attracting the next leaders in security

IFSEC Global Editor, James Moore, reports on the latest from the Secure Futures initiative from the Security Institute and EY Foundation, as the second cohort completed their graduation at the Old Bailey on Tuesday 12th April.

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The Secure Futures graduates at the Old Bailey

Court One at the Old Bailey has been witness to some of the most historic criminal cases in British history, from trials of Ian Huntley and Maxine Carr, to Peter Sutcliffe, the Kray Twins and Dennis Nilsen. There is little doubting its prestige, and on Tuesday 12th April, the second cohort of Secure Futures graduates were given the opportunity to sit in the same courtroom that so many infamous offenders had been ‘sent down’ in.

A fitting venue, then, to reward the hard work and commitment of 20 bright, young and ambitious 16-17 year-olds from low income backgrounds, who had just finished the programme delivered via a partnership between the EY Foundation (an independent UK charity supporting young people who face barriers to employment) and the Security Institute.

The graduation ceremony followed a week of paid employability skills training, as well as several days of paid work experience, where the students were introduced to three key areas of security: physical, cyber and personnel. Security professionals from across the public and private sector shared insights into real and current challenges, while students took part in activities such as developing security plans for a large event and a Dragon’s Den style challenge to design an app to introduce the sector to other young people.

For the next 10 months, the graduates will also receive one-on-one security mentoring from sponsors and a year’s free membership after turning 18 to the Security Institute.

IFSEC Global was lucky enough to be invited along to the graduation ceremony by Paul Barnard, Vice Chair of the Security Institute, who has been the driving force behind the creation of the Secure Futures programme since its inception in late 2020.

Throughout the event, there was little doubting the impact the initiative has had on the students who took part. This was perhaps best showcased in a short panel discussion, where several participants underlined the value of the experience as they discovered skills in leadership and teamwork. It was also encouraging to hear how the students had taken to the security industry, speaking enthusiastically about the varied opportunities available that they never knew existed prior to the programme, and that they’d encourage anyone who has the chance to join next year’s cohort to do so without hesitation.

From an onlooker’s perspective, it was obvious that the industry is in good hands in the years ahead, and showed the value in ‘widening the door’ to enable those less traditionally represented into the realm of security. As Paul explained when launching the initiative, “young people are an essential component of our workforce”, and “offer a fresh perspective and insight that can inform innovative solutions to long-standing issues”.

And, with the Secure Futures programme specifically aimed at those from a low-income background, who often do not receive the training and guidance after school that others may do, the benefits of a more diverse and inclusive security industry has never been more plain to see.

Find out more about the Secure Futures Programme, here.

 

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