16 April 2019 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
Workplace and facilities managers are to celebrate and recognise their profession on World FM Day by delivering activity-based workshops in schools across the UK with the aim of encouraging the next generation.
The schools project is the pilot phase of an IWFM 'career of choice' campaign being developed with input from FM service providers to address the profession's growing skills gap.
In future, the campaign will target different audience groups, including graduates in relatable disciplines and others such as military personnel, aiming to attract the brightest and best people into the broad sector.
The aim is to establish a resource hub via the IWFM website accessible to anyone interested in pursuing a career in workplace and facilities management.
Created in partnership with student engagement consultancy Class of Your Own, the schools workshop programme was unveiled last week to a group of member volunteers, including IWFM Manager of the Year Laura Birnbaum.
The workshop took place last week at Alder Grange High School, Rawtenstall in Lancashire.
Mark Whittaker, IWFM North regional chair and solutions consultant for Thomson FM, said: "The [pilot workshop] proved a great success. The kids were brilliant and spent part of the day noting the aspects of facilities management delivery within the school to highlight areas of improvement. I believe it is crucial that as a profession we initiate the conversations with children about a career in FM at secondary school age. It was brilliant to be able to share details of some exciting UK and global projects, to hopefully ignite a passion to pursue a career in the profession."
The scheme forms part of the IWFM's 10-point plan announced at the institute's launch last November, when CEO Linda Hausmanis vowed to help make a career in the profession "one of choice, not of chance".
This is one of a number of initiatives from IWFM to mark World FM Day, which takes place on 15 May.
On the week of the 13 May, IWFM will release research and guidance on its website Insight and Research pages.
A World FM Day marketing support pack is available to download from the IWFM website.