Security guards at schools in Australia

 

Little Girl Student

Security guards at schools in Australia: how common are they?
Thirty years ago, the notion of security staff working full-time at multiple Australian schools
would have seemed fanciful, but the employment of specialist security staff is happening
more and more frequently, and at schools in every state and territory of Australia.
Many schools already employ security staff, but numbers of security staff working at schools
may be set to grow as the ABC reports that 54 schools across Australia can now use
government funds to pay for security guards, according to the Federal Justice Minister.

Some say this is in direct response to the heighted threat of terror both in Australia and
globally but the minister emphasises other factors as contributing.
"I want to stress that there is nothing specific that we are concerned about with any of the
schools we are funding," he said, just that the funds were allocated to assist schools that had
been identified as being at “potential risk of attack” because of racial or religious intolerance,
however the move was not in response to a specific threat, according to the minister.
He says, "This is a confidence building measure to make sure that we've identified schools
that might be at slightly higher risk of having a security problem. I think as long as it is not
invasive, I think prevention is much better than waiting for something to happen and then
acting on it after it has happened,” he said.
Breakdown of schools approved for security guards across Australia:
New South Wales 29
Victoria 15
Western Australia 4
South Australia 2
Queensland 2
Northern Territory 1
Australian Capital Territory 1
The program saw over 100 schools apply, however, around 44 schools were knocked back.
The ABC reports that “the ongoing program saw nearly 100 government, Jewish, Islamic and
independent schools apply for the funding, but only half were successful.” 44 schools were
not given access to funding for the program.
Minister Michael Keenan declared that “all our children have the right to be educated in a
safe and secure setting”.
The recent history of security guards in Australian schools:
According to the Sydney Morning Herald , The Secure Schools Program was introduced
nearly 10 years ago (in 2007) to help ''protect schools that face a special risk of attack,
harassment or violence stemming from racial or religious intolerance''. $35 million was spent
during the period upgrading security at 77 schools across the country.
The 2007 program had been "altered" according to Keenan, to give schools additional
funding to not just pay for security measures like CCTV, but to pay for actual, on-staff
security guards.
"Before we came to government, we made a commitment that we’d be allocating this $18
million," the minister said. "(the program) funds things such as CCTV, improved lighting,
other confidence enhancing security measures. But the change that we’ve made is that it
can now also fund security guards which has been an important piece of the puzzle for some
schools to enhance their security arrangements."
Could you work as a security guard in a school?
These new government programs may indicate that the numbers of security officers and
guards working full-time or part-time at Australian schools could now be on the rise, as well
as new security technologies, such as closed circuit TV.
According to The Conversation , “Many American schools had CCTV cameras in place
before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. After the attacks additional surveillance policies were put in
place to respond to the possibility that schools could be a terrorist target.”
Many people in the security industry in Australia are welcoming the funding. Michael Hart,
general manager of ILA Security Services in Victoria says , “Having this funding available
helps to alleviate the financial burden of effective protection for schools under heightened
risk.”
“Only school security guards can provide sufficient level of deterrence to prevent an incident
from happening in the first place. For the parents of any children attending one of these
schools that will now be able to afford having on-site security guards, it means real
peace-of-mind, and most of all to the staff and children attending the school, of course, it
means greatly increased safety.”

Where are the security jobs?
According to the Department of Employment , the most common places to work as a security
officer and guard in Australia are:
Public Administration and Safety* 69.2 %
Retail Trade 4.4 %
Transport, Postal and Warehousing 4.4 %
Arts and Recreation Services 4.3 %

How to acheive a working life balance

Cafe retro

How to achieve a work-life balance when working in security

Do you work in security, or are you planning on a career in security in Australia? How flexible are the job roles available and what can you expect from a typical arrangement in terms of work-life balance? The figures are encouraging: the average security officer or guard works 39.9 hours per week. Full-time men work (on average) 40.4 hours per week (this is just slightly above the national average). Part-time men (in security roles) work 19 hours per week.

Full-time working women in security work (on average) 36.8 hours and slightly longer part-time hours than the men, at 20.5 hours per week. There are also many casual and contractor roles within this profession, according to the Australian government’s JobOutlook website.

Why is a work-life balance so important when you work in security?

Work–life balance is a concept which aims to balance proper prioritising between "work" (career and ambition) and "lifestyle" (health, pleasure, leisure, family etc.) The theory is all about lifestyle choice, and has been a growing focus point of employers all over the world, including those who operate security companies in Australia. Put simply, workers are now expecting and demanding more job flexibility and a better work-life balance.

Work is a major part of our adult lives but everyone needs balance in their world. The ability to balance your leisure time and family time with your work commitments in security is essential. The “typical” nine-to-five corporate day is slowly going the way of the dinosaur. People simply need more flexibility these days and we operate in a 24/7 world – especially when working in security. Often businesses needed someone at work “around the clock”.

Could you ask for more job flexibility?

Often, getting more flexibility within your job role is all about looking for opportunities, being clear about what you need and approaching your boss or company in the correct way.

“Don’t Quit Your Job, Flex Your Job!” is the saying of WorkOptions.com. They provide a range of strategies you can employ to introduce more flexibility into your working life. They suggest that it’s important the broach the topic with a new employer from the start, if you can.

Luckily, more businesses are open to the idea of flexible working schedules, and technology has improved the ability of workers to work remotely, in many cases. When you work in security, you may find that there are a variety of career options: full-time, part-time, casual and contractor.

What are your needs? Do you need to pick the kids up from after school activates a couple of times a week? Are weekends the best days for you to work because of penalty rates? Do you prefer working the night shift so you can have your days free? Talk to your boss about potential options for you. You’ll never know, if you don’t ask!

Is work-life balance getting worse?

The answer seems to be “yes”. According to a report that was recently released by The Australia Institute. Director of Research, David Baker, said fear about job security was widespread, so often workers were afraid to approach their bosses to ask for more of it, even when they may be entitled to it. However, roles in security tend to be bucking this trend.

"It's time that employers and industry groups started to talk about how they are going to tackle this problem. It's time that governments took this problem a lot more seriously. Work-life balance should be on every company’s agenda,” says Baker.

"For many Australian workers rocking the boat appears to be a genuine concern. If seeking better balance is perceived to be a threat to career prospects people are unlikely to freely raise the issue with their boss," he mentioned.

"A simple thing they could do is require all large companies to survey their employees each year on work-life balance and publish those surveys on their websites." Would this approach work?

Have you spoken to your boss?

Dr Timothy Sharp from the Happiness Institute believes flexible conditions can reap huge rewards for employers. He suggested Australians should simply speak to their bosses and propose a trial of flexible conditions to see whether it would work for the company. In security, some flexibility with shifts and hours may be possible.

“To make the whole thing less daunting workers could approach their employers and propose working flexibly as a trial,” says Sharp.

Whether you’re already in the security industry, or whether you aim to enter it, thinking about your work-life balance is an important conversation to have with yourself. Prioritise your health, your family, your interests and of course, your career – balance is the key!

5 Personality traits that you think are negative

 

Personality Traits5 personality traits you think are negative that are great for your

career

There are many personality traits that are lauded in the workplace as being broadly positive

hard-working, assertive, creative and professional people often seem to get ahead and

might even rise to upper management and beyond.

But what of those negatively perceived personality traits that were all told to work on to

self-improve? Could some of these traits actually benefit you in the workplace, despite their

negative connotations?

1). Bossiness and assertiveness can be helpful for progressing your career

Every workplace has its share of bossy people and in many cases, these people might in

fact work in upper management. Being bossy is normally not seen as a positive thing but

there are loads of studies online that indicate that a little bit of assertiveness applied in the

right way can be very helpful to your career.

Using assertiveness the correct way can be helpful in communicating your needs and ideas,

and making sure youre work gets the attention it deserves. Just ensure you strike the right

note and you know when to back off. Trade bossiness for assertiveness and see your career

reach new heights.

2). Being a worrier can be a sign of greater intelligence

No one likes the feeling of being worried and chronic worry can lead to stress and even

medical issues, such as insomnia and weight gain. However, there are many reported

benefits to being a worrier, per scientific studies.

According to a study called Intelligence and emotional disorders: Is the worrying and

ruminating mind a more intelligent mind? worriers are often quite intelligent. A US-based

research crew looked at about 130 undergraduate students and found a strong correlation

between worrying and intelligence.

The study showed that when someone displayed high amounts of verbal intelligence, they

were also more pre-disposed to think future events through in great detail. Neurologist Dr

Andrew Gordon points out that It makes sense that highly intelligent people may worry more

because they are able to digest more information and see multiple sides of a particular

issue.

3). People that fidget might have lower stress levels in the long term

According to Setuhealthcare.com , Studies have shown that the amount of time we spend

sitting down is associated with reduced lifespan and a higher incidence of heart disease and

stroke But breaking up your sitting time throughout the day with simple activities like

walking or stretching your legs could counteract the harmful effects of (sitting down) and lead

to better overall health. So, the next time you see someone fidget near you, making you

want to scream, just remember that its actually a positive personality trait that may assist

with workplace stress.

4). Micromanagement can have workplace benefits

Micromanagement refers to inappropriately close observation and control of a subordinate's

work by a manager (referring) to overemphasis on the minute details of employees' work.

The author of the piece admits that he is indeed a micromanager but insists that this really

just makes him more available to his staff when they need him.

I am ok with it, says Raphael M. Barishansky, I consider myself a positive micromanager.

Positive micromanagement focuses on what people want and need from managers rather

than what managers must do to feel in charge. In fact, there are many well-known,

celebrated micromanagers, such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

5). People who are shy might make better decisions than their bold counterparts

There are many benefits to being introverted, both in your private life and within your career.

As well as being more approachable than your bolder colleagues, if you are shy or socially

anxious you might typically be more of a problem-solver or thinker too. This trait (shyness)

can be helpful when it comes to many life decisions, explains VeryWell.com . Thinking

carefully and planning before taking action are important for many of life's hurdles including

planning for the unexpected, avoiding unnecessary risk, and setting long-term goals.

Other reports suggest that people who are shy might be seen as more approachable by their

peers and might be regarded as more trustworthy.

How well do you deal with authority?

Security Guard 1

How well do you deal with authority?

This week we will be presenting 4 questions to ask yourself…

It’s often one of the questions that managers will throw in at the end of an interview, “How well do you deal with authority?” According to Job Skills, the good news is, most supervisors believe that some amount of questioning of authority is natural, intelligent and progressive – it’s only when a candidate says something along the lines of, “In my last job, my boss made a financial decision that I knew would be abysmal, so I went directly to his superior who agreed that I was right so my boss had to alter his plan,” that alarm bells may start to ring.

Read more

Women in Security Part 1

Women in Security 1

Women in Security

Like many other industries, the security industry is going through a serious transformation; and SECTA is abolishing gender imbalances in the industry and societies misconceptions surrounding female security guards.

One of the most common misconceptions about the security industry is that physically, security officers need to look a certain way. Stereotypes held by society often portray security guards to be large and strong males; although with females doing just about anything these days, this is far from a reality.

Women are increasingly defeating societies generalisations, as well as our outdated sexist attitudes. SECTA is integrating gender in the security industry and revolutionising a segment of the workforce that has formerly been dominated by males. “There has been previous thoughts that women can’t be tough, but that’s totally wrong. We need a range of both men and women in this industry,” said Kerry, student at SECTA.

With the number of female students in each course continuing to grow, we found out just why women are a great fit for the security industry, and why we need more female security officers in Australia.

“It would be good to see more women in the industry as there are lots of customer service security roles which would be great a great fit for women,” said Kiralee, student at SECTA.

With current laws scrutinising males as inappropriate when having to pat someone down or body search, it’s evident the security industry needs a woman’s touch.

“It’s a very male dominated industry and we need more women for obvious reasons, especially at concerts for searching people because males can’t search everyone, meaning females attending the concert can walk in with anything,” said Kiralee.

Female security guards are said to have more of a calming effect in potentially stressful situations, especially with male drinkers. More passive and less intimidating, intoxicated females often feel more comfortable with other females figures.

“There’s so many roles where females security guards should be. For example, female bathrooms should be getting checked and we need more female security guards to do that, because women would be more comfortable with that,” said SECTA student, Sarah.

“We need more female security officers because females can come across as more approachable as we have that sensitive side. Also for the reason it will allow other females to feel more comfortable.”

SECTA’s two week intensive training course is the perfect transition for women hoping to become security officers, whether it’s at airports, clubs, retail stores or corporations; or as a step towards working in the police force.

“I think SECTA’s course has provided me with enough employment information to commence work, while some others might not- but SECTA I think has a higher standard,” said SECTA student, Kate.

“What Dave teaches in the 2 week course is very intense. It prepares you for employment and you get a lot of information about the outside workplace,” said Kerry.

Whether you work in hospitality and are looking to further your knowledge, or are choosing security as your designated career path; SECTA provides students with an intense, highly knowledgeable course, packed tightly into two weeks of training.

“I work in a club at the front desk and we have security guards there, so it gives me more of an understanding of how it all works,” said Kiralee.

“Our managers now have their security licenses so if something does happen in a club, we know what security can and can’t do. We know and can help out,” said Kiralee.

SECTA’s training courses help develop students’ interpersonal skills, as well as their knowledge of the security industry itself. With activities such as role plays helping students prepare for real life situations, SECTA is moulding students into workforce ready, quick-thinkers who are confident in their own skin.  

“SECTA’s training course helped me to gain confidence in myself, good communication skills and the confidence and ability to work as a team,” said Emily.

“I liked the role playing and the assignments, as well as the lectures. They’re easy to understand and so well explained that you don’t even need to ask questions,” said recent SECTA graduate, Renu.

With an impressive track record of training females students who are now employed in varying roles of the security industry, SECTA is continuously taking progressive steps to address industry gaps and actively make a difference. Working in security may seem like one of the more challenging career paths, yet the rewards are eternal.

“Its confronting, but well worth it at the end of the day,” said Kerry.