What is the UK’s security industry?

The UK’s security industry is diverse – 11,500 companies, providing products and services for everything from the response to the Ebola crisis, to tackling terrorism, to improving cyber security, and supporting the emergency services every day.

Partly because of its diversity and the breadth of products and services it offers – but also because of the nature of work it does – the profile of the security is not very high.  Few people actually understand what the sector is and what it contributes to the United Kingdom.

That is why ADS has produced a Security Industry Outlook report.  The report, published today, is a clear guide to the size, shape, and activity of an industry that is fundamental both to national security and economic growth (excluding the manned guarding part of the security sector).  The report finds that the sector:

  • Has grown five times faster than the rest of the UK economy since 2010 and has doubled in size since 2008
  • Has an annual turnover of £7.9bn, 40% of which is generated through exports
  • Directly employs 75,000 people, of which 2,150 are apprentices or trainees
  • Supports 39,000 jobs indirectly through the supply chain
  • Pays around 40% more than the UK average salary, highlighting the highly skilled nature of its workers. The industry

The outlook for the sector is also positive:

  • Two-thirds of industry leaders expect to achieve more than 10% growth over the next 12 months.
  • 70% of UK security companies plan on increasing investment over the next 12 months.

Much of this will be driven by growth in the global export market (the global security market is expected to grow by 50% by 2017), but the difficult security situation facing the UK means that domestic requirements will continue to be important.

A handy factsheet summarises the main characteristics of the UK’s security sector.