Finding an alternate path in the security sector

“Quiet, composed and a little shy”, is how I would describe Security Supervisor (SS), Mr Mohamad Isa, 50.

He had spent the last 20 years in the hospitality sector, doing F&B. In 2017, he switched paths to security because of his age and the physical exertion that it took, as F&B required him to be on his feet for at least 12 hours daily.

In 4 years, Isa has been promoted twice – from Security Officer to Senior Security Officer (SSO) and subsequently to Security Supervisor (SS). He credits this to the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) that was introduced to the security sector, as it provided a clear and structured career progression pathway for them.

“I find that security is more interesting, and it’s also better prospects. After attending courses and modules, you have a chance to be promoted and receive a pay raise. And more opportunities at work. Because a supervisor gets to manage a team at a site.”, Isa explained.

“In 2020, the SS pay was around $2800 to $2900. In 2021, it is around $3200, because of the PWM. The pay increase is quite a lot. Other sectors not much pay increment, maybe only 3%.”, Isa added.

Isa is one of many workers who has seen tangible benefits from the PWM. The PWM, which was first introduced in 2012 by the NTUC, was in 4 sectors – cleaning, security, landscape, lift and maintenance. Most recently, during the National Day Rally, it was announced that the PWM will be further introduced to the retail sector in 2022, followed by the F&B and waste management sectors. Having the PWM extended in more sectors will benefit more workers and will attract the younger generation.

Encouraging the younger generation to join the security sector

security isa

Isa’s son, who is 26 years old, is also a security personnel. He joined the security sector 3 years ago, and is now an SSO.

“I encouraged him to join, because there is a future in the job. It is quite stable, the pay is good and there is work-life balance. My son tried delivery and warehousing work previously. But he prefers security also.”, Isa shared.

Most rewarding parts about the job

“One time, there was a condo resident who called the guardhouse. She said her maid ran away and told us to keep a lookout for her. I spotted a taxi and stopped the maid from leaving. So after that, we became friends, the resident and I, they bought us food and drinks.”

Isa feels especially encouraged by such gestures and being recognised for his work is what spurs him on to do better. He also received a compliment from those clients which goes into his appraisal with his company, FormTeam Consultancy.

“I will continue to be in the security sector until I retire, I feel fortunate that I switched careers before Covid because the hospitality sector was affected. Security is stable and there’s a demand.”, Isa concluded.

Supporting companies with the PWM Mark

During the National Day Rally, it was also announced that a Progressive Wage Mark will be introduced to acknowledge ethical companies who support the PWM. Hence, consumers can now choose whether they wish to support good companies who have employees’ interests in mind. It’s a great move in the right direction, after all, when we decide with our wallets, more companies may be encouraged to do right by these workers!

As evident in Isa’s case, belonging to an ethical company like FormTeam Consultancy has benefitted him greatly. By choosing to pay their employees according to the PWM, they motivate mature workers like Isa to upskill. Even though Isa chose the security sector later during his career, he is still given the same career opportunities to gain salary increments!

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