Private security officers can look forward to significantly higher wages in the coming years. This comes after proposals put forth by a tripartite committee on the security wage ladder were accepted by the Government on Friday (Nov 12).
With this update, the basic monthly wage for security officers who are the lowest-ranked on the ladder will more than double from $1,650 in 2023 to $3,530 by 2028. According to SMS (Manpower) Zaqy, the update to the PWM will benefit more than 40,000 security officers employed by more than 260 security agencies.
The latest review of the Progressive Wage Model (PWM), which was introduced in 2016 for the security industry, will address the perennial manpower crunch faced by the industry.
Transforming the Security Industry
With the heightened terrorism threat made no less by the pandemic, and greater demand for security services in the midst of a manpower crunch, the industry has to transform to increase productivity and make the job requirements less manpower-intensive.
Heightened terrorism threats demand smarter security solutions while a shrinking local workforce emphasizes the need to use technology and redesign processes to optimise the use of resources. On the other hand, a better-educated workforce presents opportunities for the sector to tap on better-skilled manpower to enable new technology and services.
To this end, it is heartened to note that the Security Industry Transformation Map (ITM) was introduced in 2018. It aims to develop a vibrant, technologically advanced and competitive security industry that delivers better security outcomes for Singapore and provides good jobs for Singaporeans.
The ITM will raise the standard of security agencies in Singapore. The new Security Agencies Competency Evaluation, for example, which will replace the Security Agencies Grading Exercise.
A job in security needs no longer be seen as the last option when there are no other jobs available. It can be a deliberate career choice with pathways for career progression.
During this pandemic, security officers have stepped up to help support various operations including enforcing safe management measures. Their dedication and professionalism are to be appreciated. Ultimately, transforming the industry and raising the wages of security officers require a whole-of-society effort. We must be prepared to pay more for better services.