A MULTI-NATIONAL facilities services company is placing as many as 80 of its 1,021 North East staff through an apprenticeship as it looks to upskill its workforce.
ISS Facility Services, which works in 50 countries across Europe and has its UK headquarters in Bolton, is currently putting the workers through the cleaning and support services apprenticeship offered through Newcastle College.
Having previously used NVQs as a way of developing their staff, the firm approached Newcastle College seeking a more flexible training programme and were advised to introduce level 2 qualifications, which can then be extended to level 3 apprenticeships.
Gavin Deane, apprenticeship coordinator at ISS Facility Services, said: “Our strongest asset is our people. Having been an apprentice myself, I appreciate the importance they play in any organisation.
“Our staff will not only gain the underpinning knowledge relevant to the cleaning sector, but with training being delivered on and off the job, they will acquire essential transferrable skills that can be used in their future development.
“We are looking to grow apprenticeships in a big way, and through the help of a reputable training provider such as Newcastle College, we hope to be able to make it a long-lasting relationship.”
ISS Facility Services, which has its worldwide headquarters in Denmark, handles all aspects of facilities management, including cleaning, catering and other support services.
Barbara King, director of the school of health and enterprise at Newcastle College, said: “Apprenticeships are a perfect way for businesses of all sizes to develop their existing workforce.
“It is refreshing to see a large multi-national investing heavily in staff training, especially through the apprenticeship programme.
“Traditionally, apprenticeships were thought of as only available to recruit new members of staff. However, we are seeing increasing numbers of employers using apprenticeships to give staff additional skills, enabling them to perform their job more effectively.”
“We are looking forward to creating a training programme and working closely with ISS Facility Services.
“Our aim is to develop a mutually beneficial relationship, where Newcastle College is on hand to meet the training requirements of ISS Facility Services.”