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Community / Training to be offered locally for security staff

THERE are hopes that a new locally provided training course could help to tackle the shortage of certified door stewards in Shetland which has halted large events.

Local hospitality training company Blyde Welcome is to offer the six-day SIA (Security Industry Authority) course in the spring in partnership with Aberdeen’s F1 training.

Mareel has been unable to host standing concerts for some time because of the shortage of SIA certified door stewards in Shetland.

Among the casualties was an AC/DC tribute act at the Lerwick venue in the festive period, which had already gone on sale before being cancelled.

The venue is due to host a number of visiting tribute acts this year but as it stands the music of dancefloor favourites like ABBA and Queen will be delivered to a seated audience.

Shetland Arts chief executive Graeme Howell said it was an isles-wide issue where people had let their licenses expire during the pandemic, while a general shortage of hospitality staff has not helped either. More recently SIA training has only been available on the Scottish mainland.

He recently privately raised a possible solution among interested parties which would have seen music promoters and others chip in for a local training scheme in a bid to overcome the problem.

But Blyde Welcome’s Celia Smith says her scheme is separate to what Shetland Arts had been planning.

She said the company had been keen to offer SIA training for some time, adding that it was particularly important with the Tall Ships Races visiting Lerwick in 2023.

“There is definitely a gap in the market,” Smith said. “Let’s hope folk are wanting to renew their licenses.”

She said SIA certification is mandatory for large events and nightclubs.

Blyde Welcome would also offer the emergency first aid at work course, which Smith said is a prerequisite of doing the SIA scheme.

Prices would start from £150 for the six-day course.

Smith said participants earning less than £22,000 a year will be able to apply money off the cost. They would apply for this through F1 Training.

Local promoter Davie Gardner said he welcomed the news and hoped that this “offers a possible solution to what currently is a very concerning issue both for local promoters and for Shetland itself as a whole in terms of live event provision”.