Belfast Telegraph

Belfast tops security guard table

It may be a dubious claim to fame, but Belfast has more security guards than anywhere else in the UK.

More than 800 people took a vocational course in security in the city last year, according to new figures.

That was almost double the number taking the second most popular City and Guilds course in Belfast - hairdressing.

The leading vocational education organisation said Belfast had established itself as the security conscious capital of the country, with no other city attracting as many on to the course.

Across all skills and trades, the number of City and Guilds awarded in Belfast has risen by 14% in the last 12 months.

Chris Jones, Director General and CEO, City & Guilds, said the tough economic climate had led to more people improving their skills and more employers investing in staff training.

"Growing numbers of people are recognising the value of work-related learning and equipping themselves with the right skills and training they need to succeed and lead in today's fast-paced economy," he said.

"With apprenticeships and work-related learning now a firm priority on the UK's education agenda, demand for skills-based courses in Belfast has never been higher."

In regard to City and Guilds certificates awarded in Belfast in 2009/10, the top three industry areas were security (816), hairdressing (431) and electrical installation (397).

While security guards abound in Belfast, Newcastle is the UK's most eco-friendly city with the highest number of experts in energy efficiency (673) and Birmingham is the driving force for the automotive industry (1,774).

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