The event security industry has faced many hurdles over the past 18 months during the pandemic. One of the hardest impacts we experienced during COVID-19 was the closure of hospitality, venues and the cancellation of events all over the world. This took a huge toll on the industry and as a result left people, including security guards, out of work with no certainty of when they would be able to go back. As the world starts to open up again, the industry is facing a severe shortage of staff, which is now bringing into focus how COVID-19 has affected people in the event security industry.
What happened to security personnel as a result of the pandemic?
The events sector was closed for well over a year and, during these difficult and unpredictable times, it meant that the industry devastatingly lost a wealth of companies and talent. Throughout the UK we have seen the number of licensed security staff falling as the year has progressed.
No work means no income, which meant that during the pandemic event security personnel were forced to find themselves a more stable source of income in order to continue earning money. On the other hand, a lot of staff members opted to use their door supervisor licenses in other security roles and found themselves using their skills to help in retail or at COVID-19 testing centres. As time went on, a lot of people felt their only option was to leave all together and more than a year later, we are seeing that many security staff have now moved on completely to other work and are not looking to return to their former roles.
What impact is this having on the industry a year and a half later?
As we start to see clubs, shops, venues and events start to open up again, there is an extremely unnerving feeling across those in the industry. This is because they are facing an immense shortage of security staff. In order to operate a safe event, it is vital that places have the necessary security personnel in place, but without the staff how can this ever happen?
In recent news, we saw Boris Johnson continue his road map which resulted in the lifting of restrictions and nightclubs being allowed to re-open. Due to the impact COVID had on the industry, it has meant there simply aren’t the event security officers available. In fact, the UK Door Security Association has warned that 6 in 10 door supervisor positions are at risk of being unfilled in pubs, nightclubs, events and festivals as a result of the pandemic. Without the correct amount of security, it poses the risk that events or venues may not be able to open or go ahead. It is an unnerving feeling to think that the pandemic began a year and a half ago and yet we are still trying to overcome the negative impacts that the virus continues to yield.
What has the industry faced during the pandemic?
The need for security personnel will always be strong – pandemic or not. However during these uncertain times, this industry in particular is needed now more than ever. People in the security industry were the ‘unsung heroes’ of the pandemic; they played and still continue to play a key role in the fight against COVID-19. During the pandemic, security personnel found themselves shifting from their traditional roles and moving in other areas to try and help keep the public safe from the virus. This included working in testing centres, enforcing social distancing measures and helping the vulnerable. Ultimately, close contact with strangers was inevitable. In fact, an article written by a security guard during the pandemic stated that male security guards were the professional group most at risk of dying from COVID-19.
The need for security personnel is important now more than ever
The pressure on event security personnel has become such a distressing issue that the industry is warning the government as they start to open up hospitality, venues and events. The number of events that have been scheduled is around double that of pre-COVID levels. We are witnessing an ongoing battle between venues and security companies to recruit enough security staff for things like festivals, nightclubs and big events to enable them to go ahead and open up to the public.
The UK Door Security Association (UKDSA) feels that the shortage of security staff is only going to get worse. This is due to regulations changing; we are going to see costs significantly increase when training to become a licensed door supervisor due to the extended requirements that are now required since the pandemic. This now includes having a first aid qualification and training on terror threat awareness and dealing with other emergencies that may occur.
COVID-19 has affected people in the event security industry in more ways than one. We have seen events get cancelled and job roles changed. We’ve also witnessed the number of security personnel decrease as time has gone on. The battle against the virus will be something that sticks with us all for a long time and every single person within the industry should feel a sense of pride that despite what the world has thrown at them, they have continued to keep the public safe.
Here at Newman Event Services we are thrilled to see that the industry is able to start back up and running again and are optimistic about the future of the events sector. Our expert staff are always on hand to help keep you safe and will continue to do so.
If you are looking for peace of mind for an upcoming event you are planning then do not hesitate to get in touch. We offer a wide range of event safety services to ensure your safety needs are met. To get in touch, call us today on 01295 72284 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.