Published: January 13, 2012

The British government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has employed security specialist Pilgrims Group to provide training to its key departments working in politically unstable and often highly dangerous parts of the world. The security provider has built a reputation for protecting businesses, NGOs and journalists working in unpredictable, high threat environments.

Pilgrims will provide Security Awareness in Fragile Environments (SAFE) training to FCO employees at its specialist training centre, set in 200 acres of Surrey countryside, preparing them for dangers in any part of the world. Over the three year contract, selected staff will receive SAFE training to prepare for work in some of the world’s most hostile and dangerous environments. This training is designed to help save the lives of FCO staff and their families as they serve the UK overseas. Pilgrims won the contract through a process of fair and open tender.

“We offer a fresh, smart approach to training, which is flexible, cost effective and output based,” says David Freear, Pilgrims’ COO. “Our programmes are supported by Pilgrims’ international expertise, including staff on the ground in hostile and challenging environments. That allows us to prepare our trainees effectively in lifelike situations. It provides them with the necessary skills to stay safe and the knowledge of how to put those skills into practice, quickly and effectively. Hardwiring these skills to the brain achieves much better retention rates and ultimately enhances the benefits of the training.”

Pilgrims re-assessed its traditional approach to training in late 2009 and decided to implement a complete overhaul. David Freear and Training Manager, Sam Mostyn, devised a new strategy and completely turned Pilgrims’ approach to training on its head. Pilgrims’ Managing Director, Bill Freear, explains: “The result is an extremely dynamic and commercially effective training course that delivers consistently higher output results and reality based training for a wide range of markets. This arguably puts us at the forefront of the UK hostile environments training sector.”

“It is a privilege to work with FCO employees as they prepare to work in some of the most world’s most politically unsettled regions,” comments Bill Freear. “This contract demonstrates the ability of Pilgrims and its international network to develop effective training based on our comprehensive experience in areas of conflict. We are confident that these courses will give FCO staff the essential skills required to keep themselves and their families safe in fragile environments.”

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