06 November 2018 | Nick Greenwood
Nick Greenwood discusses the talent shortage the FM industry faces.
We hear a lot about the talent shortage the sector faces. So is it as bad as people say? Yes it is.
We all know that FM has struggled to build a reputation beyond being responsible for basic maintenance tasks and the result is a lack of recognition for what the role fully entails. Too few people are aware of the various career options in FM.
When I started my career in a junior admin role, I spent half of my day carrying out casework and the other half in office management. I didn't like the monotonous task of filling out the same forms for different cases, but enjoyed the responsibility of managing the facilities for everyone to be able to carry out their roles within the small company.
But it wasn't until a conversation with an FM insider that I realised there was an entire industry dedicated to this provision. This was early in my career and, while I now know what FMs do, it's staggering the number of people I speak to outside work that have not heard of the facilities industry.
I broke into the working world through an apprenticeship. While it was not specifically in FM, it taught me a great deal about how an office is run. The skills I acquired at 18 I am still using seven years later.
Through on-the-job training and tailored courses to supplement their development, young people can understand how a workplace is managed. With more awareness, we would have greater interest in the industry and, 10 years from now, we may well see the demographic significantly change with younger, more experienced and confident people being in positions with higher responsibility.
I feel excited about the number of qualifications now available in FM. With leading professionals passing on their knowledge, there is always a course available to better yourself. This, combined with apprenticeships, will help fill the talent gap and build the reputation FM professionals deserve.
Nick Greenwood is facilities projects coordinator at Howard Kennedy LLP