My name is Brad I am 21 years old, I studied Understanding Stewarding at South Essex College from November 2011 until January 2012 and this is my story.
Before coming to college I was on Jobseekers Allowance, mainly looking for jobs in the aviation Industry. Before I started the course I never really looked for a job in the security industry. Roughly two weeks before the course started I got a call from Connexions. They told me everything about the course and explained that after I completed it there was a possibility that I could get a job working at the London Olympics the following year.
I chose to accept this course and to study at South Essex College at the Basildon Campus because prior to joining I had heard good things about the College and the campus. The potential opportunities that could come my way after doing the course were just too big to turn down. I often wonder where I would've ended up if I had of said ‘no’ when Connexions offered me this course and standing here writing this now, I am glad I didn't turn it down.
After completing the course I added the security industry into my job search and in February 2012 I joined Knights Group, a security company based in Camberley, Surrey. I was put onto an apprenticeship to gain a qualification in Spectator Safety. Having done part of this course with Understanding Stewarding at the College, the Spectator Safety qualification was made slightly easier for me. In March 2012 I did my first event with Knights Group, a test event at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford. Since that first event up until now, I have worked at some very prestigious venues including Wembley Stadium, Twickenham Stadium, Fulham FC, Reading FC, Southampton FC and in November 2014 I began working directly for Chelsea FC.
I work at various sporting venues, in and out of London with Knights Group and I also work at Stamford Bridge Stadium with Chelsea Football Club. My job entails ensuring and maintaining the safety of all spectators and staff within the venue, adhering to all health and safety practices. I think I have managed to progress so far in the last three years because I have showed that I am hardworking as both an individual and as part of a team and it is clear to see my hard work has not gone unnoticed.
During the time I was at the college, I was taught the skills that were relevant to the work that I would soon be doing. Some of these skills I still use today when I’m at work and even in day-to-day life.
I gained various skills on the course. I think the most valuable has to be communication. All three of my tutors made sure that my classmates and I were able to communicate with each other in work based situations with complete confidence. At the time I had no idea of its importance to the job. It wasn't until I started working that I soon realised how important it was.
In one practical lesson that I remember, we were given radios and taught how to use them. It was a lesson on effective communication if I remember rightly. Compared to the radios I've used in work, the only main difference is appearance. Using them is the same.
The best thing about further and higher education compared to compulsory education is that it's a lot less formal and it has completely different vibe to it. At College you're there because you want to be there, whereas at school you're there because you have to be there.
I would recommend South Essex College because it has a very friendly atmosphere, the choice of courses that you can choose from is incredible, there is pretty much something for everybody.
I have done lots of things that I am proud of since leaving the College; the ones I would like to mention are working at the UEFA Champions League Final in 2013 at Wembley Stadium, the opening and closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympics and the Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium. I aim to stay in the security industry for many years to come, hoping to progress within Knights Group and Chelsea Football Club.
Confidence was always a struggle for me before I went to South Essex College, I know part of this is due to me having Aspergers Syndrome, but going through College and through work in these past three and a half years, I have surprised myself on how my confidence has progressed. Five years ago I never thought that I would ever be able to stand in front of a group of people and speak. Now I do it as part of my job and I do it with complete confidence.