Published on 30/04/19

New scheme can help job seekers secure employment while keeping the streets safe and sound

A new training programme offering the unemployed hands on experience of providing street security in Birmingham’s bustling business centre is being launched today (Tuesday 30 April).

The course provides a boost to those looking for a career in the security sector by giving them the opportunity to join street patrol services within the city’s commercial quarter.

The new programme has been developed and delivered by Colmore Business District – the company responsible for promoting and improving the area – in partnership with Birmingham Central Job Centre and Jewellery Quarter based security training specialists Mercury Training Services.

The programme is the brainchild of Colmore Business District’s Paul Street, a former policeman with 31 years’ experience who now leads on developing projects for the district’s Safe and Sound working group, which as the name suggests, is focussed on maintaining safety and security within the area.

Paul designed the programme with colleagues at Mercury as an extension of their own in-house ‘career in six weeks’ security training scheme, which is open to anyone registered with the Job Centre and receiving benefits.

Those who enrol on and complete Mercury’s training programme now have the option to enhance their employment prospects by working alongside fully qualified members of Colmore Business District’s community-safety security patrols.

The first intake onto the Colmore BID Security Work Experience Programme enrols today. The two new recruits – Ria Povey from Hall Green and Liam Pearson from Wednesfield – will spend the next eight weeks with Colmore BID’s security team to experience first-hand the challenges they face in keeping the district a safe and welcoming environment for workers, commuters and visitors alike.

The programme runs alongside other efforts to get learners into work and while taking part they will still be required to meet with their Job Centre coaches and apply for and attend interviews for prospective jobs but they will be gaining worthwhile skills and experience in the meantime.

Paul Street, Colmore BID’s ‘Safe and Sound’ strategic projects officer, said:

“This is a challenging programme for participants as they’ll be tackling a diverse range of issues that can sometimes crop up in popular public places like Colmore Business District such as low level anti-social behaviour, begging, street drinking and rough sleeping.

“But in doing so, they’ll gain invaluable work experience and under the supervision of Colmore Security staff, they’ll be encouraged to develop their problem solving and partnership skills, including how to refer vulnerable individuals into the relevant support services direct.

“We’re confident the programme will enhance job prospects for those looking for a career in the security sector and we’re proud to be providing these opportunities through productive partnerships with Mercury Training Services and Birmingham Central Job Centre.”

Paul Lawton-Jones, managing director of Mercury Training Services, said:

“Mercury are delighted to be working with Colmore Business District on this new work experience programme, which adds another dimension to our learners’ training and development.

“Through this new training programme, Colmore BID is providing an experience that we can’t create in the classroom. It’s a fantastic opportunity for our clients to gain valuable, real world skills which they can add to their CV to enhance their employment prospects.”

Ria Povey, one of the recruits on the new programme, said:

“I’m looking forward to this great opportunity, experiencing a hands-on approach with street patrols, engaging with a vast variety of people and situations whilst expanding my knowledge to help me further progress in the security industry.

“This programme will be hugely beneficial to me. Having never worked in the security industry before it will give me confidence, knowledge, experience and a great reference showing my new skills to add to my CV.”