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New FM foundation degree launched

University_Hats_thrown_iStockA new two year Foundation Degree in Facilities Services has been launched by Sheffield Hallam University in partnership with Westminster Kingsway College.

The degree was launched at an event entitled How strong are your Foundations in FM? for the Facilities Management industry held at Westminster Kingsway College in central London in association with Asset Skills and the BIFM Facilities Management Higher Apprenticeship Partnership.

The two year Foundation Degree in Facilities Services, designed for managers or supervisors working in facilities services roles across a wide range of industries, will be delivered through blended learning – typically two full day workshops/classes at the college every 6-8 weeks and self study through online modules that can be undertaken at home or at work and will be supported through the college’s VLE (virtual learning environment).

The development of this course brings together two leading institutions in the field of facilities management training – Sheffield Hallam University and Westminster Kingsway College. Sheffield Hallam University has developed the Centre for Facilities Management Development, a leading research and development centre offering research projects for the industry as well as a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in facilities management.

Westminster Kingsway College was the first Further Education College in the UK to gain accreditation from British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) as a recognised centre in providing entry level and advanced level diploma training for the Facilities Management industry. The college has been working with BIFM and the Asset Skills-led partnership to develop degree level Higher Apprenticeships in Facilities Management which have been funded through the government’s Higher Apprenticeship Fund. Sheffield Hallam University is also a recognised centre for BIFM providing Level 4 to 7 qualifications and the new Foundation Degree in Facilities Services embeds the BIFM qualifications at Level 4 and Level 5.

Speaking at the launch event for the Foundation Degree in Facilities Services at Westminster Kingsway College’s King’s Cross Centre, Sarah Bentley, CEO, Asset Skills said:

“Our research shows facilities management is sitting on a demographic time bomb where 51% of facilities managers are aged over 45 and 52% aim to retire between 55 and 65. This will mean a significant loss of skills and experience to a relatively new industry over the next decade. We need to attract young people to the facilities management industry and the new Foundation Degree in Facilities Services will help to show that Facilities Management is a career path that can take you to management level.”

Tim Davidson-Hague, Sheffield Hallam University, said:

“Mirroring the growth of the FM industry we now run a range of FM courses for individuals and organisations working in FM and the Foundation Degree in Facilities Services is another step on our journey towards supporting the development of people within the industry and FM as a profession as widely as possible.”

Ray Shilling, head of employer training at Westminster Kingsway College, said:

“The launch of the new Foundation Degree in Facilities Services between Westminster Kingsway College and Sheffield Hallam University will offer new progression routes for those working in the Facilities Management industry.”

Other speakers at the launch event included Paul Crilly, Managing Director of commercial cleaning service provider, Not Just Cleaning (NJC) and Chris Hoar, Chief Executive of the Facilities Management Association (FMA).

For further information about the Foundation Degree in Facilities Services applicants can email courseinfo@westking.ac.uk.

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