PCSO recruitment is now open – and for the first time ever West Midlands Police will be helping their new recruits to achieve a professional qualification while they work.
The application phase opened this afternoon, as the force looks to enlist 150 new Police Community Support Officers by 2020, alongside the recruitment of 800 officers and 200 specialist staff over the next three years.
As part of the force’s new way of working, every successful PCSO applicant will be placed on a professional development programme which will see them gain a Level 3 qualification in Customer Service.
Chief Constable Dave Thompson is delighted to see the beginning of the new recruitment scheme. He said: “The PCSO role is vitally important to the work we do in our communities to provide that visible presence, which offers reassurance and an opportunity to engage for local people.
“Neighbourhood teams are at the forefront of our drive to intervene early in community issues which, in turn, can prevent harm by nipping problems in the bud before they escalate – our PCSOs are key members of these teams.
“The new study scheme is fantastic for both us, as an employer, and for the new recruits as it helps to develop them as professionals while giving them a platform to continue their career development.
“It is a perfect example of how we are moving forward as a force to help our people progress and grow as they advance in their career with us.”
The programme is a pilot for the force as part of the People Deal and will launch with the placement of the new PCSOs on their NPUs from July 2017. At that stage our new officers will have already completed their six week PCSO training at Tally Ho.
The study should take approximately 18 months to fully complete and will be largely work based, where individually assigned assessors will visit candidates at their police base to develop and assess competence and knowledge for the qualification, that is closely aligned to the redefined PCSO role.
The PCSO professional development programme will be co-ordinated by the West Midlands Police Recruitment Team and the qualification will be delivered by South & City College.
Each new recruit will join a neighbourhood policing team, placing them at the heart of our communities, dealing with issues that affect the lives of people who live and work across the West Midlands.
Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, said: “The public value PSCOs and the difference they make to their communities and will be pleased that we are opening up recruitment again.
“The recruitment of 150 PCSOs, along with 800 new officers and 200 specialist staff will make a real difference to West Midlands Police.
“West Midlands Police invests in its workforce and helps people gain new skills that support their communities.”
The PCSO recruitment drive follows closely on the heels of our recent campaign to recruit the first wave of 800 PCs into the force by 2020. The force received a total of 3266 applications from members of the public, plus a further 118 submissions from current members of West Midlands Police staff and the region’s Special Constabulary. Of the 3266 external applicants, 2300 were men and 966 were from women while 33 per cent of the potential recruits are from minority ethnic communities.
The candidates will now enter into a rigorous selection process which will see those successful beginning their training from May 2017.
Chief Constable Thompson added: “The area we police is richly diverse, with around 30 per cent of local people coming from ethnic minority backgrounds. We want our force to reflect that and it is key that communities know that we have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion.
“The fact that over 1000 of the PC candidates are from BME backgrounds is hugely encouraging and we hope to see the same level of diversity in this round of PCSO recruitment.”
Applications are welcome from people aged 18 or over. Staff Associations, who are cognisant of the region’s diverse communities, are available to offer advice and support to candidates.
The closing date is 13 February 2017.