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Young people in Kent encouraged to work in the security industry thanks to Next Gen project

By Nicola Everett

Young people in Kent are being encouraged to consider careers in security as those currently in the industry say there is a lot more to it than bouncers and wardens.

The Next Gen programme is designed to show off what jobs are available and change perceptions about the industry as a whole.

The Security Institute and Medway based Ward Security launched the idea last summer and are now hoping to inspire thousands of teenagers across the county.

Paul Barnard, Director of Security and Risk Mitigation at Ward Security, said: "I'm a board member of the security institute and looking around different conferences I went to I didn't see many young people coming through in security, let alone the diversity of the sector which is pretty similar.

"The world is changing around us so we need to do something different to ensure that young people understand there are a variety of careers in security.

"There are careers on the front line of course, which everyone probably knows about, such as door staff and people who manage stores. But what you don't see is behind the scenes like the technology that goes on, the facial recognition cameras out there now and all this exciting new stuff that's happening which doesn't get talked about very much."

The project is aimed at 13 - 17-year-olds who are considering what to do after leaving school and has already received the backing of 50 businesses and organisations that are offering work experience and support.

The aim over the next 10 years is to also tackle long-term issues including the gender pay gap, diversity in the profession and promoting development and qualifications.

The Next Gen project in Kent has now teamed up with the volunteer police cadets in the county.

Tim Mann VPV and Nabil VPC leader at the British Security Awards 2019 accepting the National Partnership Award for the Next Generation in Security initiative between the Security Institute and Volunteer Police Cadets
Tim Mann VPV and Nabil VPC leader at the British Security Awards 2019 accepting the National Partnership Award for the Next Generation in Security initiative between the Security Institute and Volunteer Police Cadets

Mr Barnard said: "They're aged 13 - 18 years-of-age and pretty much they come from diverse backgrounds which is what is needed and the cadets themselves have got a real story to tell.

"We wanted to show them a number of the different security shows that happen in the UK and they are amazing shows and these are some of the partners we've worked with to ensure the kids can go to these shows, they can see some of the demonstrations in action, they're very visible and they go away, hopefully, inspired about careers in the future."

Young people and businesses wanting to get involved can contact the project via the Security Institute.

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