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A father’s story: part two

During the ST19 Manchester exhibition in the summer, we caught up with someone who’s been featured in Professional Security magazine a few times over the years, who we hadn’t seen for a while; Ian Paton, pictured. We took the chance to chew over recruitment and career progression (or lack of it, or difficulty of it, even for people with family experience of working in private security) with Ian, who discussed his experiences and those so far of his son Gary.

It’s not new, uniformed security people wanting to get on, in retail loss management or related fields; Ian from his days or rather years as a loss prevention manager recalls interviewing people whose guard uniforms he could see under their outer clothes. And Ian like anyone else in the industry knows people who progressed from officer jobs to high positions. The lack of a flow for talent – except the path they cut for themselves – remains a flaw, despite the shortcomings being well known to the sector, and aired, for many years.

If, as in other industries, a youth does not have a father or mother in the industry already, to give them a steer, where does the school or university-leaver turn? As for how harder life has become for the young seeking work – let alone a career that they are set on – Ian says: “I honestly feel sorry for people now.”

As far as Gary finding his dream employment, he took the action of applying for various uniform security roles and was fortunate to find a company that appreciated what he was looking for and also that he was perhaps looking below his capabilities.

He went for an interview as a security officer with what Ian describes as a forward thinking security company based in the North West; and after the interview was invited for a further discussion which resulted in him being told that while he was probably unsuited to the security officer position they did think he was worthy of a security supervisor role. This commenced at the start of August and involved five days per week doing 12 hour shifts and travelling round sites in the north west region, supervising the contracted security officers on various sites.

Being grateful for the opportunity and never missing a shift, not complaining about the hours (worked every weekend) and identifying issues and dealing with them resulted in a further interview with his new employer and on October 8 he started with them as a contract manager, company car and salaried.

He rightly feels proud of having made the transition to management in such a short period and while still holding a torch towards entering the security and loss prevention field, and has started his two year Masters programme via the University of Portsmouth.

Gary, Ian adds, is embracing the new challenge and is determined fulfil the confidence his employer has shown in him and to progress further with this company.

For part one visit:


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