Sarah Field of GMS property division doing door check

Leading security specialist GMS Group has launched a new campaign to encourage women to take up careers in security to reverse an industry-wide shortage of trained female staff.

Black Country-based GMS has launched Women In Security to raise awareness about the opportunities available in a sector which can provide rewarding careers in security gatehouse roles, public facing event vacancies through to CCTV and technical work, as well as scope for management development.

With vacancies in key roles at its client sites across the UK, while preparing for forthcoming high-profile West Midlands events where female-only work is required, GMS want to address a shortage of trained women in the industry.

GMS, which recently moved its HQ to Oakham Rd, Oldbury, employs 500 staff delivering practical security solutions across the UK for leading brands such as Jaguar Land Rover, Aston Martin, CEMEX UK, Neovia, Kerry Foods and Avison Young.

It is appealing for applicants to conduct general security duties and all-female search work across a range of varied GMS roles. According to statistics from the Security Industry Authority, the government body which regulates the security sector, in September 2021 just 10 per cent of the 385,000 registered SIA licence holders were female.

In recognition of the imbalance and with female-only vacancies to fill, GMS will offer training to women looking to secure their licence to work in the sector. GMS hope candidates whose work in other sectors have been impacted by Covid-19, such as hospitality and travel, will bring their transferable skills from working with the public to take up opportunities in security.

GMS HR Director Rachel Freeman said: “GMS is proud to launch Women In Security to raise awareness of the fulfilling opportunities on offer to female staff working in the sector at a time when the country is rebuilding after the Covid-19 pandemic.

“GMS wants to challenge the outdated perception of physically imposing male guards working long unsociable hours in risky situations. The modern security officer is a diligent security-minded and customer service professional with excellent decision-making skills and an eye for detail. There are many people from other sectors who have been directly affected by the pandemic such as travel and hospitality who will have these transferable skills which would be invaluable to our workforce.”

GMS launched its awareness campaign as it prepares to provide security services for some of the prominent events to be held in the West Midlands over the next year. The fast-growing company has secured work to provide staff for all-female checks, as well as general security duties at the events.

Rachel added: “We recognise the need to train and support females coming into the sector and are happy to talk to anyone who is interested about the best route for them. What’s more, there is potentially going to be some funding available to help those who need retraining or a Security Industry Authority licence to get into the security sector.”

GMS are offering training and licencing support for successful candidates who apply to work in their security roles.

The launch of Women In Security comes on the back of GMS’s successful campaign on mental health, called “Reach out, help a mate back up”, which was launched in May to encourage team members to look out for each other and has provided extensive support on psychological wellbeing across all company sites.

All staff have access to services, with particular focus given to providing male staff with support given taboos around men asking for help.