ABM UK has kicked off year two of its Junior Engineering Engagement Programme (JEEP) following a successful pilot year with three schools in West London. It aims to tackle perceptions and provide information about engineering, facilities management and apprenticeships amongst secondary school aged children and their parents.
Supported by education delivery partner, the Transformation Trust, ABM UK will take the immersive programme into nine schools across the UK including schools in London, Leeds, Manchester, and Bradford. Running from March to July 2019, year two will see over 150 students participate in the programme. The modules include activities on electrics, cooling and more, with the theme of sustainability running throughout the course.
ABM UK’s director, Adam Baker, said:“We’re delighted to be in a position where schools across the country are interested in the JEEP initiative and to be working with triple the number of students in comparison to our pilot year. However, in order to change perceptions, we need to make the programme scalable. That’s why we will be making the programme available to teachers all over the country so they can implement it themselves, with our support. Research which we conducted last year brought to life just how big the perception problem is that our industry is facing - for example, we found that over a third of parents don’t know what an apprenticeship is and a further third see apprenticeships as a last resort for young people who fail exams. However, the JEEP pilot proved that there is an appetite for programmes like this and that the young people involved are open to learning about new industries and alternative paths to success, other than just university.”
Cate Smith, senior programme manager at the Transformation Trust, said:“We were delighted when ABM UK approached us and asked for us to be a part of this programme. Being the first of its kind in the UK means we can hopefully pave the way for other initiatives like this, as the end goal for the FM industry is to close the skills gap. We believe initiatives like this are a great way to introduce students to a new interest through fun activities and experiments. It’s our job to deliver these modules in an engaging way to ensure the students leave excited about their potential future in FM!”