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FM tops the class on training

18 March 2010

New research shows FM employers are among the most committed to staff training, with more than a third increasing the time devoted to skills development during the recession.

The Asset Skills Barometer Project is a rolling six monthly survey of employers. It asked 43 FM companies about current and emerging challenges. While 34 percent of those questioned spent more time on training compared with 12 months ago, 11 percent spent more money. A significant proportion of businesses (43 percent) said the level of financial investment remained the same.
“These findings are hugely encouraging and show employers in facilities management are still placing high priority on training despite the tough climate they have been operating in,” said Richard Beamish, Chief Executive of Asset Skills, the Sector Skills Council for facilities management.  “The industry has just gone through the worst recession for 60 years and yet more than a third of those who took part in our Barometer Survey recognise how essential staff training and development is to the recovery process. They have found ways of devoting significantly more time to this issue, which we believe shows real energy and commitment.”
Nearly half the respondents cited issues such as the low carbon agenda as creating new demands and a need for skills that their existing workforce did not have. In particular, there was a shortage of higher level mechanical and technical skills. Other notable findings showed 35 percent of companies are planning to expand into new areas of activity, though 18% percent say their staff are not equipped with the right skills and knowledge to undertake this.
Elsewhere, the Barometer Survey of 77 cleaning employers showed the time spent on staff training during the downturn rose by a quarter. While 26 percent of the companies questioned spent more time on workforce development compared with 12 months ago, 10 percent spent more money. More than half (56 percent) said the level of financial investment had remained the same. Health and safety legislation posed challenges to cleaning employers, as did the pressure to provide a “green service”, in line with environmental regulations.
To view the Barometer findings in full, click here For more information call the Asset Skills research team on 01604 233 336 or visit

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