A place for old men?

February 2017 News

I received an interesting email from someone in the industry recently lamenting the lack of young people involved in the security world. The individual was concerned that the vast majority of the people involved in security associations and leading security teams and/or companies were way over 40 years old – most of them over the 50 mark.

So where are the young people these days? The security industry is an enormous employer in South Africa, but are all the companies and associations really populated and run by older people?

It stands to reason that before becoming involved in associations and companies, someone would need to gain some experience in the industry. But wouldn’t networking and being involved in the background activities of the industry give younger people more options in terms of expanding their horizons?

Is it perhaps that physical security isn’t the cool place to be? While there are good margins to be made in certain areas, other areas are fiercely competitive with tight margins unless you are willing to cheat your employees and customers. Is that the reason for the lack of younger industry leaders – there’s more money in other industries or sectors?

Could the problem be that there are younger people getting involved, but they see no benefit in becoming part of industry associations because they feel there is no real value to them at the end of the day? There are some associations that exist for the sake of existing, but there are also many that are focused on their sector of the market, or the market as a whole and are working to improve the industry, the service it delivers and its overall image.

As we have seen on many occasions, the industry needs associations to set the standards and speak to government to ensure everyone gets a fair deal. Without them, those who work in security and those who rely on their services and support will find themselves constantly neglected or taken advantage of by unscrupulous operators.

PSiRA will be embarking on a transformation drive during this year and the industry needs to be able to engage and find common ground. One company can’t do it alone and we therefore need organisations and associations that fairly represent the industry and its various segments.

Relying on the benefit that security is a must-have in South Africa and therefore a grudge purchase only results in price wars and poor service. If the customer does not see the value in spending money they will always opt for the cheapest quote – just look at the CCTV industry for proof of this.

It’s only by everyone working together that the industry can improve its image by ensuring standards in skills and services. So what is the route to getting more people, and the younger generations specifically, involved beyond their own jobs or businesses? The industry needs the experience of the old and the passion and vision of the young to move everyone forward.

Andrew Seldon



Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Plan your media strategy with Technews Publishing
October 2019 , News
Dear Marketer, Have you ever looked back on a year and wondered how you survived it? For the majority of South Africans, 2019 started benignly enough, cosily wrapped in the blanket of Ramaphoria that ...

The Open Security & Safety Alliance celebrates first anniversary
October 2019 , News
Membership triples within first 12 months; ongoing industry work reduces market fragmentation and friction across security and safety landscapes.

AWS launches Equity Equivalent Investment Programme
October 2019 , News
Amazon Web Services launches Equity Equivalent Investment Programme with the department of trade and industry to help more South African businesses to innovate.

2020 Residential Estate Security Conference in KZN
October 2019, Technews Publishing , News, Residential Estate (Industry)
Meeting the residential security challenges in 2020 and beyond: Hi-Tech Security Solutions will host the Residential Estate Security Conference 2020 in Durban on 12 March 2020.

Kaspersky uncovers zero-day in Chrome
October 2019, Kaspersky Lab , News, Cyber Security
Kaspersky’s automated technologies have detected a new exploited vulnerability in the Google Chrome web browser.

Drones and Digital Aviation Conference
October 2019 , News, Conferences & Events
Drones have opened airspaces for everyone in ways that humans had not imagined; to the extent that there is a drone to almost every kind of problem on earth. Drones already have the ability to increase ...

From the editor's desk: More things change
CCTV Handbook 2019, Technews Publishing , News
Welcome to the CCTV Handbook 2019. This year’s handbook breaks a long tradition of publishing the handbook in the first half of the year by releasing it along with the October issue of Hi-Tech Security ...

A platform approach to innovation and value
CCTV Handbook 2019, Technews Publishing , Editor's Choice, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Integrated Solutions, IT infrastructure
Moving to the platform model of doing business holds tremendous advantages for end users and smaller developers, but also for the whole technology supply chain.

Open does not always mean easy integration
CCTV Handbook 2019, VERACITECH, Technews Publishing , Editor's Choice, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Integrated Solutions
Customers who opt for best-of-breed solutions will have to rely on their integrators to develop customised integrated solutions for them.

The impact of AI on the surveillance industry
CCTV Handbook 2019, G4S South Africa, Hikvision South Africa, Myertal Tactical Security, Technews Publishing , Editor's Choice, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring
What the impact of AI will be on companies, the services and solutions they supply, as well as on the jobs people do.