THE GSS PROTECTION DOG HANDLER SCHOLARSHIP
‘The pandemic is nearly over…’ it feels like we have been saying that for months now.
One of the ‘casualties’ within our industry during the pandemic has been new dog handler training courses, which thankfully returned in May 2021. Linked to some recent exciting contract wins but also what we see as the evolution in the role of a modern day protection dog team, we’re really excited to announce that we have launched ‘The GSS Protection Dog Scholarship Programme’.
As a leading employer of professional dog handlers in the UK, it has been clear that the number of suitably qualified protection dog handlers is not sufficient to meet demand. In an attempt to rectify this, we have created this scholarship programme as a supported pathway to bring truly customer-centric individuals, with an obvious passion for dogs, into a career within our industry – an industry that today more than ever sees our handler teams front and centre of security teams operating in areas of high public circulation.
Our inaugural scholarship programme saw us receive over 180 candidate applications in four days. After much consideration, we selected a final six candidates, who attended a protection dog taster day, to allow them an opportunity to meet some working protection dogs face to face. Thankfully we had no runners!
The next step for each candidate is to attend a fully funded 8 day NASDU GP Level 2 training course while we help them through dog sourcing and transitioning to home kennelling. Candidates who successfully pass this course will be offered full-time roles within some of our public facing central London contract deployments.
This is a hugely rewarding initiative for all involved, not least the clients who will benefit from the introduction of these new superstars to their contracts.
We will update again on the progress of the candidates journey and hope to replicate the process later in the summer as we gear up our mobilisation of numerous new large contract wins. Please feel free to share this with anyone you may know of who’s looking for a supported career change.