ABM UK launch BIFM accredited FM training scheme for young people

05-12-17 15:8 BIFM

FM services provider ABM UK, has launched a training scheme which aims to attract new talent into the profession.

The pilot scheme called Junior Engineering Engagement Programme (J.E.E.P) was launched Monday, 4 December when ABM UK, welcomed 36 West London schoolchildren to its first ever employee training centre in Greenford, Middlesex.

Supported by a team of educational experts, ABM UK has developed an immersive syllabus, which will be delivered to 36 Year Seven pupils from three London Borough of Ealing secondary schools: Northolt High School, Brentside High School, and Featherstone High School.

Running from January to July 2018, the pilot programme aims to inspire pupils to consider facilities management and engineering as future career choices, through the delivery of interactive sessions, field trips and teaching about the opportunities and earning potential offered in these sectors.

At the end of the programme pupils will be awarded a BIFM Qualification which will work as a credit towards an apprenticeship or further course should they decide to pursue a career in the industry when they leave school.

Linda Hausmanis, BIFM CEO commented: “BIFM is absolutely delighted to work alongside ABM UK on this initiative. For many years the demographic time bomb facing FM has been much lauded and finding ways to encourage young people into FM as a career of choice has been a long-held ambition of the Institute.  I wish the 36 young people every success with the programme and, who knows, one day one of them may be heralded as the “FM Newcomer of the Year” like Conrad Dinsmore was at the BIFM Awards 2017."

The Programme's vision originated from ABM UK's group managing director, Andy Donnell, who started his career as an apprentice electrician when he was 16-years-old. Donnell successfully worked his way up the career ladder to oversee the acquisition of Westway Services (now ABM UK) by American services giant, ABM, and now holds the chief role at the award-winning company.

ABM UK’s group managing director, Andy Donnell, says: “This industry has an image problem that we need to change. People either don’t know about the opportunities that facilities management and engineering offer or they think it’s about oily rags and no prospects. This couldn’t be further from the truth; in fact, these technical roles are in such high demand that graduate apprentices are earning between £26,000 and £30,000 just a year after qualifying… and they have no debt!

"As an industry, we have a responsibility to start attracting fresh, young talent, and we believe that the J.E.E.P is a fantastic first step towards doing that. But it can’t be a flash in the pan: making the industry appeal to the next generation of talent is a monumental challenge, and changes won’t happen overnight, which is why we see this as a long-term, industry-wide campaign."

Andy O’Donnell also featured in a video produced as part of the Department for Work and Pensions Site Services and Security campaign supported by BIFM from 27 November – 8 December. This initiative promotes facilities management as a career of choice and has been supported by a twitter campaign that can be viewed through hash tag #SiteServicesJobs.

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