Forum: Service buyers leave security staff little room for tech innovation

We refer to the letters by Mr Liu Fook Thim (Ensure security officers' productivity rises in tandem with new round of wage hikes, Nov 17) and Mr Ronald Lee (Can current security staff compete with better-qualified candidates in future?, Nov 17).

The Union of Security Employees fully agrees on the need for security officers to continually upskill and reskill. We reiterated this at the Security Tripartite Cluster media briefing last week, in other past media statements and through engagements with industry partners over the years.

A security officer today needs to complete two Workforce Skills Qualifications basic licensing units to start his career. In recent years, a third module on recognising terrorist threats has been added.

There are several tripartite platforms in the private security industry that look at the skills requirement of security officers up till the chief security officer grade. These efforts will continue.

On productivity, Mr Liu has identified what is perhaps the most important catalyst to transform the industry. His observation that technology innovations used today are "centred on security officers" is largely because service buyers do not engage their agencies to conduct a proper security analysis on what technology requirements are needed for the site before tendering out contracts.

Without first doing that analysis and installing the technological solutions, the security manpower agency has little room to innovate except by deploying technology that centres on the security officers.

The union and our tripartite partners have been engaging security buyers for many years on the advantages of outcome-based contracts. We invite Mr Liu and other buyers to help co-determine and achieve better security outcomes and higher productivity.

Raymond Chin

General Secretary

Union of Security Employees

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