• Praise for Government approach to technical careers

    A speech by the Education Secretary, in which plans were set out to help more people into skilled areas of employment, along with a warning to leave ‘snobby’ attitudes to technical careers behind post-Brexit, has been met with approval by ABM UK.

    The company, which launched the UK’s first Junior Engineering Engagement Programme, has called for UCAS equivalents for apprenticeships, with recent research suggesting that a gender barrier has been crossed in engineering and facilities management sectors.

    Discussing the plans and speech, Adam Baker, Director, ABM UK said: “The work being done to encourage more young people into engineering is much needed and very welcome. Bringing parity to T Levels and A Levels is a strong step in the right direction, and will help to profile technical careers in their true light; life-long, lucrative and fulfilling, often coupled with high-level training.

    “There are some signs of improvement. For example, recent research which we commissioned on the perception of technical careers revealed that just 16 per cent of young people considered technical roles to be ‘for boys’. With 89 per cent of the UK’s current engineering workforce being male, this is promising! It means that for the vast majority of young people, a gender barrier has been crossed, and that the workforce across technical industries in the future will look incredibly different to what it does today.

    “As a next step, we’d like to see a similar offering to that of UCAS but for apprenticeships; a system that truly profiles all pathways available to young people. This is vital if we’re to close skills gaps and boost industry in the UK.”

    Last month, thirty-six school children from West London graduated from the world’s first Junior Engineering Engagement Programme (J.E.E.P), which first started in January 2018 following research which highlighted that sixty  percent of young people were unlikely to consider working in the engineering and facilities management industries.

    The programme launches again in 2019 and seeks to change the perception of apprenticeships and technical careers and plug the skills gap in key industries. All graduates receive official commendation from a certified industry body, the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM, formerly BIFM).

    Linda Hausmanis, Chief Executive of the IWFM, said: “The Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (formerly BIFM) is delighted to support ABM UK in this initiative. This graduation marks an important moment for the industry – it’s a step towards making apprenticeships in facilities management a stronger proposition for young people looking at career choices, and compliments IWFM’s work to reposition the FM profession as a career of choice not chance.

    “There’s a serious skills gap in the industry, which can only be plugged if we pull together to highlight the fulfilling end careers we can offer. We look forward to next year when the programme aims to engage even more young people in careers in workplace and facilities management.”

    AUTHOR

    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien

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