Open-access content Thursday 31st October 2013
Andrew Hulbert, a Rising FMs committee member, talks about what the special interest group is doing to promote the profession to school leavers and graduates.
31 October 2013
Over the past four years there has been a concerted effort by the BIFM to formalise the qualifications structure within the FM industry, and inside the last twelve months this has really come to fruition.
BIFM now boasts a core set of structured levels both from a membership and a qualifications standpoint, offering members and non-members a number of benefits.
From mapping their career paths, to setting themselves goals, to comparing themselves against their peers, this approach is both standardising and progressing what we do.
Recently, BIFM submitted its entry level qualifications at Level 2 and 3 to the Department of Education, with the aim of getting FM into the core curriculum. To support this, the Rising FMs Special Interest Group focuses on making FM a career
of choice from an early stage.
My main focus as a Risings committee member has been attempting to get FM recognised at school/university age. The main method for this has been career talks to careers advisory services, schools and universities.
I am fortunate that my career is quite a neat story - graduate to director in five years, which includes completing an MSc in Facility and Environment Management at UCL. But career talks can be limited in their appeal and one person's career doesn't represent a whole industry. Therefore, we are exploring other avenues.
Our next approach is to begin exhibiting at school careers fairs. The Rising FMs are delighted to have booked its first event in November this year. We will be representing the BIFM and pitching the FM industry to Year 11 students and parents alike.
I am relishing the opportunity to introduce the FM industry to students, who are considering their life/career path, and probably didn't even know the industry existed. We should be able to capture their attention with the Shard, the Gherkin and Heron Tower as well as football stadiums, power stations, schools and hospitals, but whether we can convince them it is a career of choice will be another story.
Certainly the clear career progression levels from BIFM will assist in this. For me, there are two key drivers for exhibiting at careers fairs. Firstly, to put the FM industry out there exhibiting among other more established professions to get over this "special industry no one knows about" tag.
Secondly, but more importantly, is to engage with the parents. Half the battle of trying to capture the attention of the younger generation is engaging with their elders. We need to captivate the parents and give them enough information to make them want for their children to pursue a career in FM.
This careers fair will be a good test of how the FM industry is received and will hopefully help the BIFM begin to grab the attention of the next generation.
If you have any additional feedback you can contact the BIFM membership team at [email protected] or by calling +44 (0)1279 712 650.