A Barnsley security firm is through to the finals of the industry “Oscars” in London.
Active Response Security, which has seen staff numbers nearly double in the last two years, is shortlisted in three categories in the Security Excellence Awards.
The company, which employs 76 full-time security officers, has achieved year on year growth since it was set up by Michelle Bailey in 2006. Its expansion has been supported by Enterprising Barnsley, which is run by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council.
Michelle said: “To be shortlisted in three categories is fantastic. We are a medium sized company so to be in categories of such high calibre against some of the UK’s largest companies is outstanding.”
The award ceremony is being held at the Hilton on Park Lane on November 27. Active Response is shortlisted for Event Security Team of The Year, Approved Contractor Scheme Champion of The Year and Security Training Initiative of The Year.
The training initiative shortlisting is in recognition of the ‘Active Response Academy’, where the company works with Job Centre Plus agencies and local colleges to ensure the calibre of officers passing relevant Security Industry Authority (SIA) courses is increased and that they have the skills needed to gain employment in their chosen sector.
Active Response helps assess the suitability of candidates wanting to do their SIA qualification. The company staff then teach on the SIA training course and offer initial screening interviews. Over the last two years the system has led to more than 100 people being found work either at Active Response or other security firms. The training programme is also open to new clients looking to increase standards through TUPE transfer and has proved important in recent tender wins.
Michelle said: “We set up the academy because we wanted to improve standards in the security industry. We believe it’s vital to get, and keep, the best people. And that is the philosophy of how we run the company.
“Empowering our officers and allowing old and new staff the opportunity to undertake further training is one key area that helps us achieve a high retention rate and build solid partnerships with both our staff and clients alike.”
Active Response, which has just secured contracts to work with Barnsley Premier Leisure, Barnsley Christmas lights switch on and to supply concierge services to corporate offices in Leeds, moved to new premises at Berneslai Close in the town centre in 2013, after outgrowing its former base at Mount Osborne Business Centre.
The company has received support from Enterprising Barnsley with advice on HR and accounts, and website development and training.
“The support of Enterprising Barnsley has been invaluable,” said Michelle. “As well as the free practical support for the business, we have had someone to turn to for advice and we have been put in touch with other local businesses and made very useful links.”
Enterprising Barnsley, offers a wide range of free business support to small and medium-sized businesses with growth potential. The programme is supported financially by the European Union and has attracted £2,259,511 investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development, through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.