Recent Facilities Management Supervisor (Level 3) apprenticeship graduate, George Hardie, gives us an overview of his time as an apprentice, plus his advice for the cohort following in his footsteps.
What made you want to do an apprenticeship?
With the Apprenticeship Levy and the newly developed FM course, the funding for the qualification I wanted was readily available. DWF offered me the opportunity and I grabbed it!
Why facilities management?
It’s my vocation and I’m passionate about FM; it touches on every part of our business and allows me to have a positive influence on my colleagues’ workplace and the business generally.
Tell us about your current role...
I manage the team in our office and together we pride ourselves on providing a top-class facilities and client facing service in an office of around 500 people, working with the other team leaders we share best practice and implement changes in the business.
Nationally, I’m responsible for the PPM and cleaning commodities, taking this from the tender process through to implementation and governance. So, I guess a big part of my role is making sure I’m working with great teams of direct and indirect reports and constantly looking for improvements and added value.
What were the highlights of your apprenticeship?
Apart from receiving the certificates and awards at the end, the camaraderie and team work that got us there as a cohort. Working together as part of a group strengthened our relationships and highlighted our personal areas of expertise. This is something we now all benefit from and are a stronger and more effective team because of this.
Do you think an apprenticeship gave you a better grasp of the profession and your role than going to university, for example, would have?
The method of delivery wouldn’t affect the knowledge, but working in a cohort with monthly group sessions gave us all a chance to discuss and compare experiences. That was the biggest advantage of an apprenticeship over a university course.
Would you recommend an apprenticeship to those looking to get into facilities management?
Definitely, if you have an interest in FM and have the time to devote to learning.
You're now mentoring the next cohort of apprentices. What advice will you give them to help them navigate their learning?
With the regular contact we have with the next cohort we encourage them to use us and their line managers; there is a wealth of knowledge and experience in DWF to tap into. The main message is to support each other and believe in yourselves as much as we believe in you. Don’t fall behind with your assignments and keep time aside to rework after submission: no one gets it all right every time.
What's next for your professional development?
Keeping on top of the ever changing legislative and best practice challenges in FM and continuing to develop my skills. Facilities is constantly evolving and with IoT and wellbeing trending, that will be my mid-term focus.
Considering a career in facilities management? Explore FM apprenticeships further.