24 cleaning operatives and supervisors working on the London Underground were the toast of Initial Facilities at a ceremony in central London celebrating the successful completion of their apprenticeships. They were joined by colleagues and representatives from Transport for London, London Underground and the Skills Partnership.
The apprentices received a certificate from their tutor, Beth Rose of the Skills Partnership, to recognise their achievement in gaining a NVQ Level 2 in Cleaning and Support Services. The 12-month government-funded scheme consisted of on and off the job training to enable colleagues to meet industry specific standards as well as benefit from a mix of competency-based learning. It also included transferable key skills such as literacy and numeracy, and interpersonal communication skills to support career and personal development.
Akeeb Oriowa Bola Oyefolu, one of the apprentices and a supervisor at the Neasden depot, said: “It’s been a wonderful opportunity and a platform for my future. It was all very relevant from the safe use of cleaning chemicals to communication skills which will help with customers and colleagues. There’s been great teamwork with colleagues - my Initial family.”
Phil Hufton, asset performance director at London Underground, said: “Initial plays a key role in ensuring London Underground achieves a world class tube for a world class city. To deliver this goal we need to continually develop all of our people to achieve high levels of performance and the Initial apprenticeship scheme really does contribute to this aim.”
Colin Marshall, transport director at Initial Facilities, said: "It makes me very proud to be able to provide these learning opportunities to our team who undertake such an important role and it was great to be part of the celebration of their success.”
The success of the apprentices has resulted in Initial Facilities committing added resources and expanding the training scheme across the company’s transport sector with new team leadership and facilities management pilots under development. Therefore, the number of colleagues completing apprenticeships is expected to more than double in the next year.
Graham Thwaites, managing director, specialist sector at Initial Facilities, said: “Our people truly are the company’s greatest asset, so we are delighted to be celebrating the success of our colleagues and recognising their commitment and pride they have in their jobs. We are working closely with Transport for London and the Skills Partnership to provide opportunities and career progression for our workforce. We have a well-trained team, delivering great results. It means that Initial Facilities is playing its part in delivering a clean and safe experience for visitors to the Olympic Games and helping to keep the city working and moving this summer.”
Apprenticeships are part of a wide range of programmes delivered by Initial Facilities to support its colleagues. In 2011, the company delivered over 7000 days of training to frontline colleagues and recently completed a pilot of a new numeracy and literacy training programme.