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Action to tackle the demographic timebomb in facilities management

Published 4th September, 2012 by Neil Nixon

Action to tackle the demographic timebomb in facilities management

Employers have come together to help design new programmes to tackle the demographic timebomb in facilities management. Companies such as Interserve, ISS UK and UK Sport attended a recent event hosted by FM skills body Asset Skills to help roll out new Talent Management and Higher Level Skills projects.

Recent research by the Institute of Leadership & Management found an overwhelming 93% of UK businesses are concerned that low levels of management skills are having an impact on their ability to achieve their goals. Many organisations also did not have a plan to make the most of their internal talent and equip them with the skills to thrive. In facilities management, Asset Skills research shows 51% of facilities managers are aged over 45 and a further 52% aim to retire between 55 and 65.

“If this trend continues it’ll mean a significant loss of skills and experience to a relatively new industry,” said Sarah Bentley, chief executive of Asset Skills. “FM is sitting on a succession planning timebomb. We need to ensure the skills are in place to start replacing the experience that will be lost over the next decade. The structures for talent management in many FM organisations are still under-developed. Our event aimed to draw on methods of nurturing workforce skills that have worked so successfully elsewhere. With representation from a range of companies, we included workshops that enabled delegates to gain great insights into how others were planning to approach talent management.”

Employers also got involved in the new Higher Level Skills project, bringing education and industry together like never before, with work placements being arranged not just for undergraduates but for university tutors too.

The Talent Management and Higher Level Skills programmes have received co-investment from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills through the Employer Investment Fund. Asset Skills is looking for employers to participate in both these projects which will offer the chance to be part of an exciting group exploring the potential for real growth and change. Similar events will be held across the UK until the end of March 2014. For more information contact Vicki Bowring at or call 01392 423 399.