Keeping premises safe, helping the neighbours and being the go-to person for a wide range of problems, the security officer’s work involves a lot more than just prowling and opening carpark barriers.
To keep up with the modern worker’s needs and marketplace shifts, the Union of Security Employees (USE) have put into place a series of plans to energise the industry.
To sum it up, these 3 things are in focus:
- Preparing the workforce for “longevity opportunities”
- Improve and secure the health of the officers
- Continuously improve the quality of jobs by training men, improving machines and changing methods and mindsets
In the past few years, the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) was rolled out for the security industry. It consists of a minimum base wage and as well as a progressive career ladders. Its objective is to help those in the sector climb the job ladder and earn higher income whilst improving on productivity.
Layered on top of the PWM, is a pilot scheme to encourage better health management. A 6-month “Secure Your Health” programme allows officers to asses their health status and seek advice on how to better manage their health. Signing up for the programme is easy – security officers can walk in to USE’s Customer Service Centre (at Waterloo Centre) to apply.
The taxi drivers have a similar program: when they send in their taxis for servicing, they get to go for a health scan themselves at the same time.
The importance of good health at the workplace cannot be under estimated. In Switzerland, for example, workers are prepared for a work life beyond 60 years old and they start early. They make sure workers take care of their health from the critical years of between 40-60 years so they can go beyond 60 years.
It is then imperative that we do this for workers in Singapore, for a longer career life span beyond 60.
“USE aims to look at effective and sustainable ways to improve all aspects of our security officers’ lives. As our efforts to enhance their jobs continue, we also want to encourage them to take charge of their personal well-being so that they can enjoy better, more meaningful lives both on and off work.” said Mr Hareenderpal Singh, President of USE.
But what’s next? What else is in store besides a Progressive Wage and care for the health and well-being of a security officer?
It will probably be in career progression. The USE informs that they are looking at providing security officers with more options in career progression through various “tracks”.
For example, a Specialist’s Track: This would develop specialist competencies in non-guarding skill sets, which could incorporate security technology system integration and maintenance, executive security protection, security consultation, etc. This would appeal to professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) and fresh graduates from Polytechnics and ITEs.
An ad-hoc Specialist/Event’s Track: This would grow and maintain a pool of ad-hoc security officers who can perform event-based security such as crowd control, bomb screening and vehicle security checks.
Also on the cards is a jobs matching service. The Union is developing an app to match security officers to adhoc and part-time jobs.
In all, it is a good work by the Union of Security Employees by turning what was mere “jobs” into fulfilling careers.