IG: How important is it for installers and integrators to keep up to date with CPD and safety and fire training?
TT: The electronic technical security landscape is constantly changing at an increasingly rapid pace. For the individual working in the industry, the importance of both accredited training and continuing professional development is vital to staying up to date with all the latest technological and technical innovations, remaining competitive and knowledgeable on the call. tenders for new work, and be able to demonstrate that they are practically and professionally qualified in their field of work and expertise.
From a business perspective, many enlightened companies and organizations are now taking on very proactive and supportive roles with the training and ongoing professional development required by their employees, as they can clearly see the enormous benefits of a strong workforce. highly qualified, motivated and committed work. Having highly skilled customer facing agents and engineers representing their business is great for customer retention. The knowledge of their engineers generates the ability to complete the job safely and to exceptionally high standards with the benefit of reduced intervention.
IG: What’s new you can talk about since the last show in 2019? And the big new courses?
TT: Despite three years since the last IFSEC show and COVID-19 forcing us to close the doors of our training center for more than 12 months, we have not stood still. We used the time to build a second intruder alarm and electronic access control workshop at our Hampshire headquarters in addition to our state-of-the-art training facility in Shipley, Yorkshire. These developments have extended our catchment area to cover the whole of the UK whilst tripling our capacity to deliver our renowned BTEC accredited IDS and Access Control courses.
As well as developing our training centers, we have also worked closely with manufacturers and industry regulators to update all our courses to ensure that the theory, legislation, equipment and essential techniques we teach conform to the latest specifications.
As with many companies during COVID, we have relied on virtual platforms to deliver the courses that do not require the “roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty” workshop training. This included courses in BTEC Accredited CCTV System Design and Planning, Intrusion Alarm System Design, CCTV Traffic Enforcement and Security Consultancy, to name but a few- one. Virtual training has proven to be very popular and due to demand we are continuing as it has reduced the need for learners to travel, book hotels etc.
However, what we have seen is that the demand for hands-on training is now back to pre-pandemic levels, and as our students tell us, there is no substitute for hands-on experience!
IG: What are the most popular courses currently for installers, and why do you think?
TT: Practical CCTV installation, intruder alarm installation, practical access control and fire alarm installation are always in high demand and are often at full capacity even in the months following lifting COVID-19 restrictions. This is due, in part, to a huge skills gap in the technical security industry, where there is a real and emerging need for properly trained security professionals. In a world where anyone can install a camera or “install” fire and security systems, the only true mark of professionalism and quality comes from an engineer who has been properly trained. Completion of accredited training through a recognized training center results in a formal qualification – which for us is BTEC – which acts as proof of professional competence and excellence. By opting for an accredited technical training course, individuals ensure that their training is at the highest level and covers the basic content required in this field, including legal and legislative aspects, supported by the application of the theory through practical application in our fully equipped workstations. This can then be a catalyst for a person’s career progression within a company, or even a path to a new vocation. Simply put, an accredited training course is a mark of high quality training and therefore a more qualified person.
With the current shortage of experienced engineers and lack of industry-specific apprenticeships, we are seeing more and more requests and bookings from companies hiring interns to fill this void as well as training current engineers. to become more multidisciplinary. The costs involved with this also negate the ever-increasing charges and fees of recruitment agencies when hiring new employees. It also fosters a professional and trusted workforce.
IG: Why do you like face-to-face events?
TT: For us, it’s an opportunity to network with those across the industry and understand what their individual or professional training needs are. Having a conversation with someone in person or over a cup of coffee is more personal than a voice on the phone or a few words in an email.
However, from a consumer/end-user perspective, eventing is also a good opportunity for professionals to come see us on their terms. It facilitates a space to ask questions, browse the literature, and actually talk to the people delivering the courses. For us, face-to-face events have always been a very enjoyable and positive experience, especially at major industry shows like IFSEC. Face-to-face events give us a great opportunity to really demonstrate the wide range of training we offer across our portfolio, while building new relationships and solidifying existing ones.