Published: 3rd June 2021
DO pre–pandemic around 90,000 to 100,000 DS staff worked regularly in support of the hospitality industry. The current requirement as we now move out of lockdown is 40,000 of which our industry is available to supply 78%. This leaves a shortfall at present of circa 9,000 but with the risk that the shortage is potentially 60,000 aOR SUPERVISOR (DS) SHORTAGE
PURPOSE The purpose of this paper is to take forward dialogue between the UKDSA and the SIA regarding a critical DS shortage and offer proposals to mitigate the risk.
ANALYSIS The UKDSA estimates thats restrictions ease further and the hospitality sector moves towards its earlier requirement.
The reasons for this shortfall are many, and not all within the bilateral influence of the UKDSA or the SIA but they include:
DS operatives finding alternative employment over the Covid–19 period and choosing to remain in alternative security roles (notably guarding) or other sectors.
The short hours, part time, often inconsistent, and relatively low levels of remuneration in DS work.
Brexit and the pandemic combined influencing EU staff to leave the UK, and preventing others arriving
The enhanced training regime for DS (supported by the UKDSA) which unfortunately through its duration, and the duration of the whole process, cost and difficulty is making it less attractive to entrants and existing staff renewing who can enter similarly remunerated sectors with minimal training and delay.
As we ease out of the pandemic, obvious stakeholders beyond industry, regulators, and the public themselves are the Government and devolved administrations who may well have a view on any obstacle to an already hard hit hospitality industry having to slow its re–emergence because of a shortage of DS to provide safety and security. In the UKDSA, while we would be disappointed that the long called for training needed to be delayed, such an option may appeal to governments that have already had to balance many big issues during the pandemic.
OPTIONS While we are aware that any delay or postponement in the roll out of the enhanced training is a difficult decision and subject of dialogue between us in the recent past, we believe it is necessary to look at that option again urgently. We would be very willing to look at any initiative that could offer some interim part remedy, for example improved roll out and use of the ACT app.
A more challenging option which the UKDSA has not discounted is to create a condensed two day SIA course containing ACT, conflict management, and physical intervention elements, plus Covid–19 safety which is available as e–learning.
We also believe there is merit in considering that former DS license holders, whose license has
expired recently (perhaps 2 years) be granted temporary SIA DS licenses, with some brief training, for example, Covid–19 safety e-learning.
The UKDSA would also support accepting recognition of prior learning similar to the SIA CP licence, allowing stewarding experience, and or spectator safety qualification, as well as police and military service.
CONCLUSION The UKDSA is aware how challenging the issues are but fear that if nothing is done the hospitality industry as well as the security industry is not going to cope. All of our proposals would be of a temporary nature until circumstances allowed us to collectively move back to the original plan.
We do appreciate that as well as working with our regulator there is work for us to do with others, notably our clients, to boost remuneration and the overall attraction of DS work. Similarly, there are issues for the SIA to make any process as seamless as possible. Issues like the turnaround of ‘conviction enquires‘ could see security given priority through interdepartmental agreement.
We are very grateful for the dialogue to date and know we can work together to make some urgent progress.