Wages, career progression key concerns of security sector

The security sector is trying to attract more fresh graduates from the Institute of Technical Education and the polytechnics to enter the security industry.

Higher-skilled jobs will be made available through the implementation of command and systems specialisations with higher pay grades.

These will favour graduates with diplomas in areas like information technology and systems training, said a spokesman for the Union of Security Employees (USE).

The USE gathered yesterday for its 13th Quadrennial General Convention of Delegates at the Cassia Room at Downtown East. The convention addresses the state of the security industry from 2012 to 2016.

Mr Kelvin Goh, general manager of Soverus, said that new specialisations could entice more young people to consider working in the security industry.

"When they join as security officers, they can go to other lines like executive protection or cyber security," said Mr Goh.

He said, for instance, an employee could start off as a security officer, earning between $1,100 and $2,000, and move up to executive protection which pays a starting salary of $2,500.

But some of the polytechnic students were not sure they would pursue a career in security.

One of them, Temasek Polytechnic student Brian Tan, 19, feels the security industry has a limited job scope, "although the career progression and pay are factors".

He added that "it may also be due to the fact that our knowledge about security is very limited and the fact that we take it for granted".

Among the issues reviewed by the USE was the implementation of the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) for security officers.

The PWM creates a framework for basic pay and career progression of security officers, and will be mandatory for new security agencies looking to obtain licences to operate in Singapore from Sept 1.

Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Amrin Amin, who delivered the keynote address yesterday, said that implementation of the PWM has been "uneven on the ground", and urged security agencies to prioritise sending their officers for training before the Sept 1 start date.

According to the Police Licensing and Regulatory Department, there was an estimated training shortfall of about 4,022 security officers last month.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 14, 2016, with the headline 'Wages, career progression key concerns of security sector'. Print Edition | Subscribe