This study delivers solutions and recommendations to national Sectoral Social Partners on tackling labour and skills shortages in the private security services industry.

From November 2021 to April 2022, CoESS and UNI Europa hosted three online workshops with the support of a dedicated Specialist Group. The aim of these workshops was to provide national Sectoral Social Partners, security workers and companies with best practices and possible solutions to better anticipate and manage labour and skills shortages. More than 300 participants were involved in defining and discussing the best practices in successive workshops, which gathered Social Partners, individual companies and relevant public authorities, both at EU and national level.

Building on the INTEL project report on “The State of Labour and Skills Shortages in the European Private Security Services“, this study delivers a catalogue of the discussed solutions to:

Promote value-based procurement practices and better regulation of the industry that fosters quality and rewards compliance with Collective Agreements, quality, a skilled workforce and career development, in collaboration with public authorities;

Endorse attractiveness and diversity of the industry, including initiatives that foster inclusion and promotion of different worker groups such as women, LGBTQIA+, disadvantaged younger and elder people, persons with disabilities, etc.;

Engage with public authorities to actively address labour and skills shortages, for example with public employment services and stakeholders in the national training framework;

Strengthen vocational education and training (VET) frameworks in the industry through the establishment of sectoral training centres, which offer re- and upskilling pathways;

Establish national frameworks for gathering skills intelligence and data on the composition of the workforce as well as workplace practices.

These best practices show that sectoral Collective Bargaining and Social Dialogue is an important tool to address the identified barriers to effectively manage labour and skills shortages in the industry. The positive impact of Social Dialogue on working conditions has been proven by numerous examples in this study. They show that collaboration between trade unions and employers can give rise to great initiatives tackling different aspects of labour and skills shortages:

  • In countries like Spain, Portugal and France, Sectoral Social Partner Observatories exist that provide skills intelligence, fight unfair and irresponsible business practices, and ensure best value procurement and compliance with Collective Agreements.
  • Social Partners in Sweden, Luxembourg, Belgium and Austria raise quality standards in training through their own training institutes, most of them governed by Collective Agreements.
  • In Belgium, Germany, Greece and Spain, Sectoral Social Partners initiated activities that pro-actively support under-represented and/or vulnerable worker groups – including women, disadvantaged young people, and unemployed.
  • Many best practices from diverse countries report how Sectoral Social Partners work with public authorities to include strong quality criteria for basic training; support vocational education and training frameworks; enforce best value procurement; and guarantee an adequate sectoral regulation.

The individual best practices can be found below: