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Oakington Immigration Reception Centre

Key benefits

  • 128 employees were provided with relevant qualifications to enable them to continue working in the Security Sector
  • Provided employees with training, qualifications and support in obtaining SIA licence
  • 40 employees completed NVQ’s in various sectors including Providing Security Services, Customer Service, Administration and Team Leading
  • Employees were given suitable and relevant training to help increase their employability prospects following redundancy


Oakington Immigration Reception Centre (OIRC) was a UK Home Office facility contracted out to G4S as a private sector organisation. OIRC held and processed around 450 political asylum seekers and employed around 180 staff in various roles, mainly Detention Centre Officers. OIRC closed its doors at the end of November 2010 and the site is planned for re-development.

After an extensive Training Needs Analysis, PDM initially engaged with some 40 members of staff and delivered NVQs in Providing Security Services, Customer Service, Business Administration, Team Leading and Passenger Carry Vehicle Driving. Whilst in this first phase of delivery, formal notification of redundancy was given to all OIRC staff. 

In conjunction with the OIRC, PDM set about the task of training all OIRC staff who requested it, giving them the tools to perfect their customer service abilities and also to gain a fuller understanding of current legislation in their relevant sector. In consultation with PDM, an initial programme was established for the NVQ course delivery.

The staff at OIRC were so impressed by PDM that they requested that they deliver the main redundancy training package. To this end 130 of the 180 staff selected to complete the Level 2 Award for Door Supervisors/Security Guarding to give them the required Basic Job Training (BJT) qualification required to apply for SIA licence; although already employed in the security sector, being a Home Office governed site the roles were exempt from SIA licensing. The course is five days in length and includes the new Physical Intervention module which is new legislation for the industry and was delivered in groups over a three week period to co-inside with the final weeks before closure of the site and post transfer of all detainees.


G4S believed that the initial NVQ delivery programme would help improve skills, knowledge and assist with staff retention. However, following redundancy notification their required outcomes focused more on helping their employees gain relevant training, qualifications and guidance to support them in securing new employment. Since embarking on the training programme with PDM, 40 employees have completed NVQ Level 2 in various sectors and a further 128 staff completed the Level 2 Award for Door Supervisors with a further two staff completing the Level 2 Award in Security Guarding.

The training programme has greatly increased staff knowledge and skills, along with providing the relevant BJT qualification to allow them to apply for a SIA licence. This has had an immediate impact on a number of the employees who have secured interviews and in some cases actual job offers based on the training and qualifications they have attained.

"On both the NVQ Programme and subsequently the Door Supervisors Course, PDM demonstrated total commitment and professionalism, something that was greatly appreciated by all of us involved with PDM at Oakington."

Martin Davies, Training Officer, Oakington Immigration Reception Centre, G4S Care and Justice (UK) Ltd*