Freedom Day on July 19 is expected to make it even tougher to hire security staff. 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 Covid-19 pandemic.
Much of the sector has been closed for over a year, and many door security staff have sought more stable sources of income during this time – some taking security roles in retail or Covid testing centres, and others leaving the security industry altogether.
Security licenses are regulated by the Security Industry Authority (SIA), which sits under the Home Office. In answer to a recent parliamentary question on the issue, Kit Malthouse MP responded that there are ‘record numbers’ of door supervisors on the register of license holders.
However, the signatories urge that this does not reflect staff numbers at the ground level – because these licenses are not being utilised in hospitality venues.
As England is on course to re-open businesses with no Covid-19 restrictions just next week, the sectors warn these shortages will be both unmanageable for operators and potentially catastrophic for public safety.
The signatories call on the prime minister to consider solutions such as funding training incentives, streamlining new training requirements, or tackling shortages through legislation.
“The Home Office has wilfully ignored a ticking time-bomb that will compromise public safety and our sector’s ability to recover from a time of devastation," says chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association Michael Kill.
"By focusing on the rhetoric of reopening, the Government has refused to acknowledge or consider the practicalities of opening a venue after a year of enforced closure, lacking the foresight and apparent motivation to pre-empt ensuing crisis."