Open-access content 9th November 2010
It is essential to raise the profile of FM and to be recognised at government level in important matters, says chief executive of the BIFM, Ian Fielder
11 November 2010
An important programme that has passed from the former government to the new coalition is the Alan Milburn report, Gateways to the Professions. This piece of work highlighted the need to provide fairer access to the professions and was recognised as being crucial to the UK's economic competitiveness, as well as supporting growth and promoting social mobility. Five collaborative forums were established to consider the 88 Alan Milburn recommendations that Alan Milburn and Valerie Everitt, professional standards and education director, and I were asked by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to represent the BIFM on two of the collaborative forums. I joined the forum concentrating on producing a best practice guide for internships, while Valerie contributed to looking at recruitment, training and progression.
Recently the government has confirmed its commitment to investing in a fairer future where social mobility is unlocked; where everyone, regardless of background, has the chance to rise as high as their talent and ambition allow them. David Willetts, minister for universities and science, has been appointed by Nick Clegg to a ministerial group looking at social mobility. He will chair an executive group and work with Alan Milburn who will be an independent expert reviewer. The executive has set out four clear objectives:
Identify and expand routes into the professions, particular non-university routes with a focus on professional bodies accrediting individuals for entry into the professions
Develop internships and work opportunities
Investigate an independent careers advice service signalling routes into professions
Broaden the criteria for acceptance into university courses feeding into the professions
Our involvement in these collaborative forums is testament to the esteem in which the BIFM is held and our contribution has been highly valued. It is essential to raise the profile of FM; and to be recognised at government level in important matters is helping to build the credibility of the profession. The production of a best practice guide for quality internships will help promote job knowledge and prevent exploitation of those gaining a useful insight into a place of work before taking on a more permanent position. The guide has been completed in draft form and is being reviewed by BIS before final consultation and distribution.
The BIFM has also supported another initiative generated by the original Milburn report and that is the setting up of a portal that advises job seekers, career advisors and human resource teams on the availability ?of all the different professions in ?the UK. This is now available and ?can be accessed through TotalProfessions.com.
The BIFM will keep you updated on the work of the government collaborative forum, executive and social mobility group over the next few months.