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GMB Writes To Minister Objecting To Proposed 22% Increase In Licence Charge For Security Guards Without Consultation

GMB says average security guard would have to work 80 hours to pay £245 cost of licence to work in the industry from April 2007

Gary Smith, National Officer for GMB, the main union representing people who work in the licensable sectors of the Security Industry, has written to Mr Vernon Coaker, Under-Secretary for Police and Security at the Home Office responding to the proposals by the Security Industry Authority to increase the licence fee from £190 to £245 an increase of 22% from April 2007. GMB have told the Minister that the entry costs to the industry are now too high.

Despite the fact that GMB represents thousands of security workers and is a major stakeholder in the industry, GMB have not been involved in any discussions or consultations on this matter. The GMB are unhappy that the SIA arbitrarily disposed of the Stakeholders Group that was set up at the inception of the regulation of the industry and no steps were taken to set up any mechanism for its replacement.

Gary Smith, GMB National Officer told the Minister:“The security industry is rightly seen as one of growing economic importance and having a strategic role in public safety and security. The fact that there is now an entry fee of £245, plus training costs of £200-£250 means that a low paid security guard on £6 an hour (using the assumption of wages from the SIA’s own Regulatory Impact assessment) would have to work for over 80 hours just to earn enough to apply for the licence to do the job. The SIA’s central argument for increasing the licence fee is that the anticipated number of applicants for licensing was overestimated. Given the 22% increase now proposed, it is likely to act as a deterrent to candidates considering working in the industry.

GMB is very concerned indeed that the SIA’s consultative and information dissemination processes appear to be somewhat cavalier and once again a key stakeholder group has not been informed or consulted. This was a key commitment during the passage of the legislation and I would be grateful if you could now address this issue to ensure that the intent of the Stakeholder Group is now revisited.”
 


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Contact: Gary Smith, GMB National Officer on 07710 616909, Steve Pryle, GMB Press Officer on 07921 289880 or Rose Conroy, GMB Press Officer on 07974 251823

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