by Brianna Crandall — July 7, 2017 — The standards for two new facilities management apprenticeships developed by employers in collaboration with the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) and other key stakeholders have been approved by the U.K. Minister of State for Skills.
The FM Manager (Level 4) and Senior/Head of FM Degree (Level 6) Apprenticeships will be available to FM professionals looking to take the next step in their careers later this year once the assessment plans for each have also been approved by the government.
The new apprenticeships are part of a series that have been created by a Trailblazer group of employers and higher education institutes in conjunction with BIFM following a 2013 government review to give employers a greater say in the knowledge, skills and behaviors required of their workforce.
In February, an FM Supervisor (Level 3) Apprenticeship standard and assessment plan was approved for delivery, while an expression of interest has been made to develop a Facilities Services Operative (Level 2) Apprenticeship.
BIFM acting chief executive Linda Hausmanis said, “As a professional body committed to excellence in facilities management, we are passionate about supporting the professional development of all FM practitioners, helping all those working within our profession to progress, grow and achieve at every stage of their FM career.
“Key to this is ensuring that the apprenticeships truly reflect the skills, knowledge and competences required by employers of the FM profession, and we are delighted that the Institute’s FM Professional Standards have formed the bedrock of all the new FM apprenticeships that have either now been approved or are in development.
“Many people tend to think that apprenticeships are only for entry-level employees, but having FM apprenticeships at all levels will provide many valuable benefits to both employers and their staff, enabling organizations to upskill their people as part of their ongoing learning and development throughout their careers. This highlights the value that employers place on having a highly trained workforce, and the relevance of the FM Professional Standards to industry.
“As the new FM apprenticeships become available, BIFM, as the development partner of choice for individuals and organizations, will continue to lead the way as providers of first-class FM qualifications and training, and as a trusted partner supporting employers looking to embed these new apprenticeships into their learning and development programs.”
Katie Nightingale, early careers manager at Kier Group and chair of the Trailblazer group, added, “Apprenticeships have always been, and will continue to be, a vital entry route for people into our business. With a push from government and employers to improve apprenticeships and offer even more options, including degree level, we believe the opportunities for individuals to forge a great and sustainable career in facilities management can start with an apprenticeship.
“Through collaboration with BIFM and other employers, we are developing FM apprenticeships that will be truly fit for purpose and provide a clear career pathway. We want to make the FM world an attractive proposition for prospective employees, and having these new standards will go a long way to support this.”
Dr. Paul Wyton, subject group leader for facilities management at Sheffield Hallam University, one of the higher education institutes and training providers on the Trailblazer group, concluded, “The approval of the apprenticeship standards by the Minster of State for Skills is significant in the continued professionalization and recognition of FM, and its importance to the U.K. economy.
“The launch of degree apprenticeships in FM is a great opportunity for further development of the profession, for the first time providing funded routes to completing a degree in FM.
“Participation in the Trailblazer has given us the tremendous opportunity to listen to a wide range of organizations operating within the industry and to develop work-based curriculum and learning activity that reflects their demands of FMs going forward.”
Employers wanting to find out how BIFM can support their workforce in gaining excellent FM management and leadership qualifications through FM apprenticeships and other training can contact the BIFM Professional Standards and Education team at +44(0) 1279 712651.
For more information, see BIFM’s Apprenticeships in Facilities Management page.