The Changing Face of Apprenticeships in FM
When I started my apprenticeship in 2017 I was really comfortable with the college side of things because I was used to studying after completing AS-levels in product design, applied science and business.
Assuming hands-on workplace responsibility for a number of activities did come as a shock, though, as it was very different to what I was accustomed to.
I’m now in my second year at the Manor Walks centre and have experienced lots of different areas and activities, ranging from assisting the cleaning teams to admin tasks such as completing rotas, time-sheets and health and safety records.
The areas I've enjoyed most, however, have been working with the centre's recycling programme which predominantly involves reclaiming or compressing cardboard, and assisting the centre's on-site landscaper with growing flowers, fruit and veg.
These activities, and the environmental modules I have taken at college, have also inspired a potentially career-defining biosphere project that I presented to the team at Manor Walks, including my boss, the shopping centre manager, and other senior ABM UK people, and involves growing exotic produce in two sustainable greenhouses that will be used to educate local school children about the special habitats required by plant species that are not native to the UK.
Despite my initial nervousness, the project has now been signed off and I will be putting the idea into practice over the Christmas period and into next year.
My ultimate goal is to get more schools involved and take the idea on tour around the world which certainly isn't anything I'd imagined an apprenticeship might lead to.
As I also want to take my career down a managerial route, with sustainability high on the business agenda, I see the project as a great addition to my experience.