The University of Bolton will deliver the first dedicated degree apprenticeship in facilities management – after being approved as an IWFM Recognised Centre to deliver the IWFM Level 6 Extended Diploma as a dual award with its BSc (Hons) in Facilities and Built Asset Management programme.
The two qualifications are requirements of the senior/head of facilities management degree apprenticeship standard. Bolton’s course, starting this autumn, is the first of its kind since the Level 6 qualification was introduced and it represents an important option to those who want to study FM at this level as part of an apprenticeship.
IWFM has long advocated the opportunities apprenticeships can offer, especially in a sector as diverse as workplace and facilities management. In recent years Levels 2, 4 and 6 have been introduced to accompany the Level 3 standard.
The UK economy is suffering from a serious skills shortage and so is the FM sector even as the profession’s skills are in greater demand as the nation seeks to ‘build back better’ after the pandemic. In recently published IWFM research, more than a third of respondents said that a lack of the right skills had a negative impact on their organisation in the previous year and expected that to continue.
IWFM chief executive Linda Hausmanis said: “We want to see a greater uptake of apprenticeships across the board and Bolton’s course is an important and very welcome step in the right direction. Degree apprenticeships allow employers to invest in their workforce by effectively combining university education, work-based learning and ongoing professional development.
"This levy-funded apprenticeship opens up another excellent avenue into senior workplace and facilities management at a pivotal moment for our profession. Employers have been incentivised to take on apprentices with additional government funding, so I hope we will see more and better apprenticeship provision going forward.
“Furthermore, successful completion of this apprenticeship meets the requirements for IWFM’s certified grade (CIWFM); and as we have set our sights on becoming a chartered profession, the more options that exist for FMs to reach the Level 6 standard the better for them and for our profession as a whole."
Dr Peter Farrell, programme lead at the University of Bolton’s School of Engineering, said: “Our expert team will support apprentices as they undertake structured training in a number of essential areas. We’ll guide them as they gain key skills in developing and managing strategy and policy, change and programme management and operational and technical leadership.
“With a focus on helping apprentices develop the behaviours required for occupational success, such as collaboration and influencing skills, leadership and a systematic approach, you can be assured that we’ll work hard to support them as they develop into senior facilities management professionals.”
For further information and/or to register your interest, please email Peter Farrell at: [email protected]