Some people believe the value of a training program is based on the number of job opportunities that result. This is an interesting consideration. Obviously, training should improve performance, which in turn, should provide enhanced job opportunities. But, as one of my former bosses told me, “Opportunity and ability are on random courses; once in a while they cross.” All of the ability in the world is not a guarantee of employment. There has to be an opportunity. Of course, having more abilities increases the odds of you being a fit for more opportunities. So, by all means, get as much training as your resources permit. Just remember that training is a polishing action, not a constructive one.
I offer as an example an experience my wife had in her first job. After taking clerical skill classes in high school, my wife worked as a secretary in an advertising agency. One day she commented to the company’s illustrator how much she admired his art work. She mentioned that she wished she could draw like that. He told her anyone can learn to draw, but not everyone can become an artist. In other words, training can improve innate abilities but it cannot create them.
So much more than job knowledge and skills goes into making someone employable. The employers I have spoken to say they consider an number of intangibles beyond job knowledge; things like appearance, communication skills, social graces, presence, and that hard to define but easy to recognize trait of “likeability”.
Since a training academy has limited knowledge of a student going into the program, they can’t very well assess a student’s employability. Of course a security training company can and should conduct a basic background check; things like criminal history, personal references, etc. But few, if any, are going to conduct a battery of pre-employment processes that includes psychological testing, polygraph examinations, assessment centers, etc. like many police agencies do. Training companies are generally not employment agencies. Even with this information some candidates fail to make the grade. Without such information it would be foolish for an academy to promise employment.
Add to this mix the willingness to relocate to where the jobs are. Sometimes, a student has what it takes to succeed in the business, but can’t or won’t relocate. This often eliminates a number of opportunities.
While it is unreasonable to expect that the training academy can guarantee a job, it is quite reasonable to investigate the academy’s reputation in the field and the esteem with which it is, or isn’t, held by practitioners.
In the final analysis, satisfactory completion of any training program can get you into the interview. Then, it is on the individual to get the job.
Gene Ferrara PPS, CST
Chief Instructor at Executive Protection Institute
Nine Lives Associates Member #3