16 November 2016

New FM apprentices join Estates Services

The nine apprentices who recently joined the Estates Services Facilities Management (FM) team have now finished their first week of training. This is the biggest single cohort of apprentices any part of the University has yet taken on.

‘We’re delighted to welcome the apprentices to FM,’ said Lisa Hofen, Deputy Head of Strategic Facilities Management. ‘We have developed an intensive three-week ‘boot camp’ programme which focusses on customer service, working in a team and health and safety, along with a number of tools and guides to support them in integrating with our specialist teams. We will then train them towards a City and Guilds NVQ Level 2 in Facilities Services and Principles over the coming year as they gain experience across a range of FM functions.’

‘This is a major investment in nurturing the next generation of employees and demonstrates our commitment to developing people,’ she added. ‘Our hope is that this will be the first of many groups of apprentices to join us, and that many of them will get the chance to apply for permanent roles in the team.’

These are not the first apprentices to join Estates Services, but this is the first time apprenticeships have been developed with a local college (Abingdon & Witney College) and delivered in this way, with training and assessment being completed within FM. Three senior team members – Lisa Hofen, John Weston (Head of FM Operations) and Stephen Woodward (FM Compliance Manager) – have all trained as NVQ assessors.

‘We are thrilled to have been involved in supporting the Facilities Management team at the University of Oxford in developing their own bespoke apprenticeship training programme,’ said Edward Collett, Business Development Manager at Abingdon & Witney College. ‘The team have put vast amounts of time and effort into their training programme and ‘boot camp’, introducing the apprentices to the world of FM, all the while completing their assessor qualifications with the College in record time!’

Clive Shepherd, the University’s Apprenticeships Manager, added: This is one of the most exciting developments this year. The FM management team has done a fantastic job and shown us all how effective this approach can be.'

After finishing boot camp, the FM apprentices will join their own teams, but will also spend some of the year moving between buildings and teams, gaining experience in a variety of fields. Some of them will spend more time in particular areas based on their interests – for instance working in the event management and central services operational teams.