Seven security apprentices, who have been studying at South Birmingham College and employed by Guard Group Nationwide Ltd, have graduated and are being kept on. by the company.

The students have completed a Level 2 Apprenticeship in Security Guarding at the college, and were employed by Guard Group who are the security providers for the College.

South Birmingham College provide a range of apprenticeship courses for students who are interested in earning as they learn.

As well as helping students find appropriate work with employers in the region, the college itself employs a number of apprentices and encourages their suppliers and contractors to do the same.

Guard Group saw this as an ideal opportunity for their security staff to continue working, while also gaining vital qualifications in the sector. The students had the unique experience of studying and working at the college, and as a result were able to gain a full spectrum of experience, and all seven security guards are staying on with Guard Group, working at the college.

Damian Jones, General Manager of Guard Group said: “I have been a firm believer in vocational qualifications for some time. Apprenticeships are good for staff development and for the development of the company. I know that in an apprentice, I have got somebody who is interested in their own development and wants to progress. They gain in confidence by achieving the qualification and become much more aware of how the business works. That can only be good for the business. We have worked with South Birmingham College for a number of years on a variety of training projects. My advice to other employers who are thinking of taking on an apprentice is to talk to the college. They will give you all the help and support you need.”

Shakeel Akram, security apprentice and head of the security team at South Birmingham College’s Digbeth campus said: “I really enjoyed doing the apprenticeship. Working and studying at the same time was very enjoyable and it gave us all extra motivation and a boost in our day to day work. We have all improved our qualifications as a result of the apprenticeship, and it has enabled us to refresh our skills and knowledge and learn up to date information about the security industry and customer services.

“As a result of the apprenticeship, the team has improved overall, but particularly in customer service skills and dealing with difficult students. I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to students and employers, and South Birmingham College as an excellent place to study and work.”

Mike Hopkins, Principal of the college said: “Apprenticeships are a great way for people to continue working while they gain the qualifications they need to get ahead in their chosen careers.

“We were delighted when Guard Group chose to put their security staff through our apprenticeship programme, so not only were they studying with us but they were working too. Congratulations to the seven of the guards who have now received their qualifications.”

The students who have completed the apprenticeship are: Shakeel Akram, Rahib Azam, Gary Millwood, Rachel Parsley, Mabs Rahman, Mohamed Zafran and Angela Brown.