FM services provider ABM UK is expanding its Junior Engineering Engagement Programme (JEEP) - a training scheme that aims to embed the skills of the profession into the minds of 11-year-olds - to other parts of the UK.
After a successful pilot year with three schools in West London, ABM UK will take the immersive programme into nine schools across the UK, including schools in London, Leeds, Manchester and Bradford.
Running from March to July, year two will see more than 150 students participate in the programme. The modules include activities on electrics, cooling, and more, with the theme of sustainability running throughout the course.
The scheme aims to tackle perceptions and provide information about engineering, facilities management and apprenticeships among children in secondary school and their parents.
Education delivery partner, The Transformation Trust, supports the scheme.
Adam Baker, ABM's director, said: "Research which we conducted last year brought to life just how big the perception problem is that our industry is facing. For example, we found that over a third of parents don't know what an apprenticeship is and a further third see apprenticeships as a last resort for young people who fail exams.
"However, the JEEP pilot proved that there is an appetite for programmes like this and that the young people involved are open to learning about new industries and alternative paths to success, other than just university."
Cate Smith, senior programme manager at the Transformation Trust, said: "We believe initiatives like this are a great way to introduce students to a new interest through fun activities and experiments. It's our job to deliver these modules in an engaging way to ensure the students leave excited about their potential future in FM."
In year one, ABM UK collaborated with suppliers and clients including Helistrat, SMI - Workwear, Trinity Fire & Security, Edmundson Electrical, Diversey and Westbury Group. ABM UK will be looking for further support from industry peers as the programme develops.