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ABM launches sixth year of its Junior Engineering Engagement Programme

Facility services provider, ABM, is inviting the sixth cohort of students to take part in its Junior Engineering Engagement Programme (J.E.E.P.)

ABM’s continued investment in creating a pipeline of technical talent comes as SVP and President of ABM UK and Ireland, Richard Sykes, focuses significant growth plans around the technical solutions business. As recruiting the right technical skills continues to be a challenge, ABM’s J.E.E.P. aims to raise the profile of apprenticeships and the facilities management industry amongst young people and their parents.

The programme engages with year seven students, aged 11 to 12, and will run in four schools across London, Birmingham, Bradford, and Manchester. This year’s curriculum expands its focus to include aviation and soft services, providing students with a holistic view of the industry. Classroom sessions and field trips immerse students in core subjects like electricity, lighting, and safety.

Supported by independent education charity The Talent Foundry, the programme is evaluated annually using surveys for all stakeholders, including students, teachers, and volunteers, which helps shape the future of J.E.E.P and highlights the successes of the initiative. After completion of the programme in 2022:

  • Over 650 students from various schools have graduated from J.E.E.P. since its inception in 2017.
  • This year, J.E.E.P has attracted 61 female students (62 per cent of the total cohort) which aligns to a major objective of the J.E.E.P mission to promote technical positions to young women.
  • In 2022:
    • 95 per cent of students felt that their knowledge of facilities management increased.
    • After the programme was completed, 85 per cent of students felt that they knew what an apprenticeship was – an increase of 41 per cent compared to before the workshops.
    • 75 per cent of students felt ‘confident’ or ‘very confident’ about their skills in STEM following their participation in the programme.

During the course, there is a theme of sustainability which is discussed throughout the sessions to build up to the students’ final presentation in the final session. The final presentation is an opportunity for the students to show their peers, teachers and guests from ABM a project they have created with the aim to make their school eco-friendly and sustainable.

The programme is delivered by facilitators from The Talent Foundry and supported by ABM volunteers from across aviation and business & industry divisions who attend sessions to mentor and support students.

Richard Sykes, SVP and President of ABM UK and Ireland commented: “Supporting the social mobility efforts of The Talent Foundry and dispelling myths about apprenticeships and what it means to be successful is something we are extremely proud of.

“But as well as it being the right thing to do, J.E.E.P is about rolling up our sleeves and proactively plugging the skills gap which our industry is facing. Apprentices earn between £26,000 and £30,000 just a year after qualification—often before the age of 20—and without accumulating any debt: the benefits of this, along with the limitless progression available is something we as an industry must promote.”

Cate Smith, Head of Programmes and Partnerships at The Talent Foundry said: “The Talent Foundry is thrilled to continue its partnership with ABM for the sixth year of the Junior Engineering Engagement Programme (J.E.E.P.). This initiative aligns perfectly with our mission to inspire and empower young minds by providing them with hands-on experiences and valuable insights into the dynamic fields of engineering and facilities management.”

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