One small step for regulation, one large step for those looking for security jobs in the maritime sector. The Baltic and International Marine Council (BIMCO) announced Feb. 7 that work on the drafting of an industry standard contract for the employment of security guards on ships has now reached phase two of its development.
The GUARDCON Sub-committee has completed its initial drafting of the contract and has now entered into a consultation process with private maritime security companies and marine underwriters.
Meanwhile, a recent study by the One Earth Future Foundation.found that Somali piracy in the Indian Ocean costs the global economy some $7 billion a year, with ships forced to travel faster over longer routes and increasingly hire armed security guards.
According to the Financial Times the industry pulls in $52.2m a month from an estimated 1,500 escorted journeys, according to the Security Association for the Maritime Industry, which represents 120 armed security outfits.
The study showed world governments spending at least $1.3 billion trying to
control the problem, a figure dwarfed by shipping industry costs estimated
at up to $5.5 billion.
Shippers also spent more than $1 billion on private security guards, often armed, a figure that was rising sharply. Half of all ships were carrying guards by the end of last year, against an average of 25 percent for the whole year.
Not to be snarky but that means the private security companies that combat the pirates were earning much more than the pirates themselves.
Meanwhile, another sector those looking for security jobs is the energy field. According to one extraordinarily high priced research report:
Over the next decade, global demand for oil & gas is set to rapidly increase as rising populations and economic growth help to drive the industry. This will create a need for additional oil & gas infrastructure to be constructed. At the same time, many countries around the world are currently facing a number of security challenges stemming from civil unrest, terrorist activities, and a competitive global market. Together, these factors will create substantial opportunities for companies involved in the oil & gas infrastructure security market as a range of products and services will be needed to protect both existing and future assets. Visiongain calculates the global oil & gas infrastructure security market will reach $29.16bn in 2012.
Although the full report is beyond our budgetary reach the online summary does list a few of the leading security players. These include such companies as Aegis Defence Services Limited, Andrews International, Control Risks, G4S, GardaWorld, and Triple Canopy, So, if guarding hydrocarbon infrastructure strikes your fancy you might try contacting them.
That was the good news.
The bad news is that over in Iraq the government wants to and wants to limit the operations of security firms. According to the Iraqi Parliament’s security and defense committee there are around 65 security companies, more than half of them Iraqi and the remainder foreign. The companies will not be banned completely, but the goal will be to reduce their number to the minimum. The committee has the right to ban any company that does not follow the rules.
Furthermore, the Washington Post reported that the State Department has asked each component of its mission in Iraq to analyze how a 25 percent cut would affect operations.
The State Department pushed back but Thomas Nides, deputy secretary of State for management and resources, did say that “quite frankly, I am hopeful that over the next few months we will be able to reduce our size by reducing our dependency on contractors…. We owe it to the taxpayers.”
Finally, for those looking for jobs in Afghanistan, the February 11 New York Times reported that more civilian contractors working for American companies than American soldiers died in Afghanistan last year for the first time during the war.
American employers here are under no obligation to publicly report the deaths of their employees and frequently do not. While the military announces the names of all its war dead, private companies routinely notify only family members. Most of the contractors die unheralded and uncounted — and in some cases, leave their survivors uncompensated.
“By continuing to outsource high-risk jobs that were previously performed by soldiers, the military, in effect, is privatizing the ultimate sacrifice,” said Steven L. Schooner, a law professor at George Washington University who has studied the civilian casualties issue.
Last year, at least 430 employees of American contractors were reported killed in Afghanistan: 386 working for the Defense Department, 43 for the United States Agency for International Development and one for the State Department, according to data provided by the American Embassy in Kabul and publicly available in part from the United States Department of Labor