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Job Centre Plus Scheme - By Graham Cull of SSC

An innovative collaboration between the GMB Union, Job Centre Plus, the Learning and Skills Council and Steel Security Consultants Ltd has led to the development of a series of training courses designed to offer training and licensing for employment within the private security industry for job seekers.

Funding supplied by the Learning and Skills Council has supported professional training for candidates identified by Job Centre Plus. For those who have proved successful in obtaining the two level two qualifications, Basic Job Training and Communication and Conflict Management, the support extends to a fully funded application for the professional licence supplied by the Security Industry Authority. Not only do the candidates thus acquire the skills and qualifications required to pursue a career within the industry but they are also offered informal interviews with interested employers as a part of that process. This element of employer engagement has been a very important part of the attraction for the Learning and Skills Council as it offers the advantages of vocational education, return to work and also the provision of fully qualified staff to employers, some of whom have been previously tempted to pass the cost of training and licensing onto the employee.

The GMB has been able to engage with the process in two very important ways. Where candidates have been identified as being in need of some reinforcement of their skills levels before training for the qualifications, the GMB has been able to offer individual help. On occasions this has extended to relevant language training for migrant workers that has been specifically designed to enable them to access the professional training for the industry. The second way in which beneficial engagement occurs is by access to the labour force, even before entry to the industry. The individual benefits by an increased awareness of the importance and benefits offered by union involvement and representation.

So then, no losers it would appear - a scheme whereby the benefits are enjoyed by the individual, the employer, the union and the economy. How extraordinary is that?


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