Why is the Security Guard Industry in Sydney Booming?

The security guard industry in Sydney is booming. Analysts expect demand for over 50,000 security guard jobs in Sydney over the next 5 years. Many employees in other sectors are facing job shortages due to automation and changes in the working world, yet the security industry is growing at a huge rate. In this article, we examine why.

Infrastructure Boom

NSW (Sydney in particular) is undergoing a massive infrastructure expansion. Just ask any Sydney-sider and they will tell you. A major Road in the Sydney CDB has been shut down for 2 years to make way for a new light rail system. A new freeway from the western suburbs to Sydney CBD has just started construction (The west connex). When such large amounts of investment are put into infrastructure projects, one of the primary knock on industries is security as there are a lot more state owned assets that need protecting and this protection is required for the full life-cycle of these projects which can sometimes take decades to complete.

The world is currently awash with opportunities for cheap credit – especially for governments. Bond yields are down at record lows and interest rates have never been cheaper in Australia. The NSW state government is borrowing huge amounts of cheap cash and is investing it in infrastructure projects on a magnitude we haven’t seen for a while. So while security is an industry that has largely benefited from the expansion of the infrastructure spend, it has also expanded due to the other industries that have expanded due to this spend, such as construction. Everyone needs security.

Construction Boom

Sydney’s property boom started just after the GFC and hasn’t yet stopped (October 2016). Sydney property prices are now at record highs and this has driven investment in construction, especially in apartments. Along with the investment in infrastructure (mostly public owned) there have been huge investments in Sydney property (mostly privately owned) and this too has been a key driver to the demand for cost effective security guard services across Sydney. The expansion of construction in Sydney apartments has seen the creation of assets, assets that need protecting. Hence further demand for security guards in an industry already struggling to cope.

Automation

As stated before, many workers face having their jobs automated by machines in the next couple of decades. It is unlikely that anyone born this year will have a career as a truck driver or a taxi driver as we will likely have self-driving vehicles performing those jobs well within the next ten years. Some security related jobs may also be lost in the short term due to better surveillance technology, but any security guard job which requires judgement is less likely to be lost in the short term until we see rapid advances in Artificial Intelligence. While these influences are not unique to Sydney, it is a place where many other jobs in other industries have been replaced by machines, but it is difficult to automate the responsibilities of a security guard. This likely to be the case for many years.

Publicly funded infrastructure projects combined with a property market boom and apartment expansion have seen rapid increases in demand for security guards across Sydney, all in an industry which has been largely unaffected by automation. There has never been a better time to be a security guard in Sydney.

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