6 March 2014
Apprentices who have since gone on to succeed in their chosen career are usually the best placed to articulate the value of the apprenticeship path, whatever the industry.
In facilities management, with its many routes into the profession, the experience of those who have since gone on to assume senior positions is even more valuable.
Today, those completely new to the FM industry can choose to start with an apprenticeship at level 2 and progress to a foundation degree, while learners with some previous FM experience looking to progress into senior management could choose the apprenticeship route that combines the BIFM qualifications at levels 4 and 5. But this is a relatively new route into FM-related apprenticeships.
Every day this week we will speak to a senior facilities manager about their experiences.
See more here:
Name: Tom Anning
Job title: Operations Director M&E Interserve FM
1. How did you become an apprentice?
I was doing A-Levels (media studies, psychology and drama) but not really enjoying it, as I couldn't see where it was going to take me and I wasn't really enjoying the academic side of it. I saw an advert for an electrical apprenticeship and thought 'that sounds interesting'. I phoned the company, went to see them for a discussion about it and they invited me to start with them the next week. The rest is history!
2. What was your experience?
It was really good. I got a lot of experience in various different industries from domestic installs to industrial settings not only in electrical installations but also plumbing, A/C and even general building. I was lucky to have really good mentors over me who took a lot of time pointing me in the right direction and making sure I was completing my college work. It was an also a really good feeling to be making a difference and earning some money while I was learning. Even though it wasn't very much it was more than all of my friends who were still at college.
3. What advantages has it given you?
On-the-job practical experience as well as lots of life skills and experience getting on with people in a work environment. Being able to understand how engineering works has helped me massively as a manager and director as I can relate to how things actually work in the real world. By the time my friends left university I already had nearly five years of work experience on my friends. Plus, you get qualified and don't pick up any debt on the way and the qualifications can be used to gain further higher level qualifications later on.
4. Will today's apprentices benefit from the same circumstances?
Yes, even more so than when I did mine. Going to university is getting even more expensive and as the job market has become more competitive having on the job experience and being technically qualified will give you an advantage.
5. Who would benefit from an FM apprenticeship?
Anyone. If you like being more hands-on and even if you are unsure what you want to do as a career. It is definitely the best decision I ever made. And I was completely unsure what I wanted to do when I left school.