This week marks the start of National Apprenticeship Week, and this year we are being challenged to “Look Beyond”. Beyond the traditional routes into employment and the way we, as employers, hire talent. It’s an opportunity to showcase the diversity of opportunities and industries available to young people today. And also the chance for employers to share the value they see when they diversify their workforce by employing apprentices.
Today, young people are faced with an overwhelming choice of career opportunities and I imagine, just like my younger self, a career in cleaning isn’t always on the radar. I took a traditional route into work. I studied at university and it wasn’t until I had the opportunity to test out the industry, with a placement at Rentokil as part of my dissertation, that I realised what a vibrant and vital profession it was.
Since that work placement, I’ve never looked back and have been lucky enough to enjoy a rewarding career in the cleaning and facilities sector for over 25-years. However, it still saddens me to see the inaccurate reputation the industry has gained for being low skilled and low paid, which often ‘puts off’ new talent from entering the field.
In reality, professional cleaning has a major impact on a business’s operations and reputation. What many people outside our industry don’t see is the value that our people bring, and the opportunities they have to learn new skills and progress. It really is a lifelong career choice, with the opportunity to grow at every stage.
Apprenticeships are a great way into the world of opportunities offered by the cleaning and FM industry, and provide a unique way for somebody to combine training and education with real-life, hands-on experience. It is a chance to embark on a career and learn ‘on the job’, whilst earning a salary.
At Facilicom, we are proud to support them – in fact, it makes sense on several levels for us. As well as making a profit, our business goals include contributing to general prosperity and playing a positive role in society. Giving people their first step on the career ladder or a chance to try out a new industry is an important part of that.
It also benefits the sector as a whole. Offering apprenticeships is an excellent route to reach a generation that might not otherwise have considered a career in cleaning. If we want our businesses to be somewhere that people are proud to work, then giving them the opportunity to experience it first-hand could make a real difference.
We have had several colleagues join us via apprenticeship schemes and are delighted with the progress they have made. We work with them to identify their talent and ability and then nurture them through training and learning and development opportunities, enabling them to work safely and respect the environment in which they operate, as well as carving out a career that makes them happy and motivated.
We’re always on the lookout for people with the attitude and skills to thrive in cleaning, facilities and security. From our apprenticeships and learning and development programmes, to our international training scheme for high potential groups, we have put the initiatives in place to support and develop our colleagues, so that they can enjoy a long and rewarding career.
If you are interested in learning more about a career with us, visit www.facilicom.co.uk/about-facilicom/careers.
Jan Hein Hemke
Managing Director at Facilicom UK & Ireland