The first group of Level 3 Facilities Management Supervisor apprentices, who started in June 2017, have just completed their two-year programme with DWF Law LLP. The six apprentices were the first group of people to undergo, complete and achieve the Level 3 Facilities Management Supervisor Apprenticeship Standard. DWF also supported a seventh candidate, based in Glasgow, to achieve our Level 3 Diploma in Facilities Management.
All seven of the apprentices gained further knowledge, significant new skills and an in-depth understanding of the required behaviours for the complex role of a facilities manager.
DWF fully supported the off-the-job training and encouraged networking and communication within the cohort. This included giving them the opportunity to share their experiences and support one another via an internal communication system, which meant they could develop together despite being in separate offices.
“The programme opened my eyes to different aspects of facilities management that I had never previously encountered in my day-to-day role. I recommend the apprenticeship to anyone who wants a career in facilities management,” said Stuart Riley, who trained at DWF Birmingham. Suzanne Brown, who studied in Newcastle, added, "During the apprenticeship, I was promoted to a senior role which involved managing an office and two team members, so straight away I was putting everything I was learning into practice and developing further.”
All seven trainees have been given the opportunity of additional projects and responsibilities since completing the programme, including mentoring the next cohort starting later this month with Grey Seal Academy.
"The way the learning and research is structured meant that I came away with the tools to be able to research for myself and now I don’t worry when something new crops up. There are mock interviews at the end of the programme, too, and that’s when you realise just how much you’ve learned," said George Hardie, who trained at DWF Liverpool. "You’ll be able to see how everything you’ve studied, from corporate social responsibility and business continuity planning to the Internet of Things, starts to fit together with Herzberg, Wiggins and Booty; you’ll know them all well by the end,” he told the next cohort.
The success of the programme so far and the feedback we've received gives us confidence that the programme and how it’s delivered is both relevant and engaging to the next generation of facilities professionals.
Tracy Howden, spokesperson for Grey Seal Academy, said, “We are proud to be continuing our relationship with DWF, developing and supporting the facilities managers of the future with IWFM-recognised training programmes.”
Fraser Talbot, head of professional development at IWFM, said of apprenticeships, "For employers, they’re a cost-effective way to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours of staff. Development through apprenticeships increases retention, enhances productivity and can strengthen your brand as a developer of people.” Adding, "In workplace and facilities management we know there is a massive skills shortage, as recognised in last year's Business Confidence Monitor. The apprenticeship standards in our profession provide a great opportunity to bring new talent into the profession and upskill existing staff.”
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