Whether you already work in or are thinking of, it is important to note that Facilities Management is a wide and diverse sector. The Industry Definition describes facilities managers as those who “primarily provide non-core business services that allow buildings and precincts to operate effectively. These include monitoring, planning and management services such as cleaning, gardening, security and maintenance. Industry services are typically provided under contract. For definition, the primary activities of the industry can be defined as:
So, as you can see the skills needed to be successful in the roles of facilities management are interesting and diverse.
So where are facilities managers now – in a post-pandemic environment?
The latest research indicates facilities managers have benefited from the private and public sectors’ increasing willingness to outsource non-core business activities and strong demand from the mining and public sectors has amplified this trend. Although negative conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have weighed on facilities managers’ incomes, since the middle of 2022, there has been a significant upswing as WFH practices and temporary delays to elective surgeries for example have been reduced, along with the reduction in intermittent closures of many education providers which eroded demand for facilities managers. However, easing restrictions and the gradual reopening of institutions has benefited the need for facilities management.
This in turn has increased the need for facilities managers, with some clients taking the opportunity to re-organise better contracts. Contracts signed with government agencies can run for many years. For example, Serco began operating Australia’s largest correctional facility, Clarence Correctional Centre, in 2020. Serco is contracted to operate and maintain the facility for at least the next 20 years.
In the broader picture, facilities managers are set to benefit from recovering economic activity and the public sector continuing to outsource services. Moreover, lucrative long-term contracts with large government agencies will provide larger facilities managers with steady income streams for many years. The industry is poised to grow but to remain competitive, both individuals and organisations need to ensure they have the right skills in their facilities team and most importantly have regular succession plans in place as good facilities managers become more employment “mobile”
The skills of a Facility Manager
Cost control: One of the key skills to succeed as a Facilities managers is to control costs. After the impact of the pandemic more and more teams and roles are increasingly focused on procurement to control costs, as expenses are easier to manage when they are part of long-term contracts. Large facilities management firms typically have several purchasing contracts and suppliers, which gives them significant scope to reduce the complexity of their supply arrangements and limit costs, supporting profitability. While individual facilities managers provide a diverse range of services, the industry is still highly fragmented but the demand for skilled facilities managers remains high.
ESG: Additionally, scrutiny in the media over government outsourcing has made some organisations cautious about potentially contracting facilities managers. That’s why facilities managers are tipped to emphasise their ESG profiles to continue acquiring large government contracts and facilities managers are poised to continue changing strategies to maintain competitiveness.
Procurement: Procurement is set to remain a major focus for facilities managers as Intelligent procurement can reduce risk, management costs and purchasing costs.
Technology and Systems: Facilities managers are changing their technologies at a relatively moderate pace. Computer diagnostics on internal equipment allow for accurate and quick maintenance. Project management systems allow firms to easily map out the asset life cycle of facilities and components.
So, what’s next if you want a career in facilities management?
So where does all this lead, when you are considering a career in Facilities Management? Experience is vital and highly regarded but as competition for roles with a wider skill set increases then being able to demonstrate workplace competence in an accredited and nationally recognised way will improve job prospects for an already mobile workforce.
After delivering a non-accredited program to the facilities sector, both UNE Partnerships and Facilities Management Australia (FMA) decided to invest heavily, both time and resources to create a contemporary nationally accredited qualification that was relevant to the skills needed in the sector today and into the future.
The launch of the accredited 10938NAT Diploma of Facilities Management in 2022, was heralded a success. As, the Facility Management Association represents professionals, teams and organisations involved in the strategic and operational management of facilities in both the public and private sectors throughout Australia they were the perfect industry partner for the qualification. Fully staffed by current facilities management professionals the organisation is actively engaged in a wide range of advocacy activities bringing a wealth of expertise to the table.
Now with over 134 enrolments in just over a year, the qualification is going from strength to strength.
But what if you haven’t studied for years?
To remain accessible to as many aspiring facilities employees, UNE Partnerships have developed the entry requirements so that as many people as possible can get ahead in their career with this qualification. The course is 100% online BUT you are never 100% on your own.
Peer group and mentor groups are all part of the qualification and if you get stuck an assessor is at the end of the phone or video call.
Can your experience count?
In many instances, you may have been in the role for several years and perhaps now have the opportunity to step into a more senior or management-based role?
Here is where a process called Recognition of Prior Learning can help.
With the support of an assessor and a trainer, you can work through units providing evidence of your real-world experience which demonstrates competence to the standard required. If you are not sure if this would work for you, give us a call and we can set you up with an assessor for a 15-minute chat completely free of charge to run through your own personal experiences and which units may or may not be suitable.
Or, you can simply dive right in. The course study time is between xx months and xx months but of course it all depends how much time you can put in during the week.
To whet your appetite here are some of the subjects you will cover:
AND, all this backed by the Training and Education company of Australia’s only 5* rated on-line University, the University of New England.
So, are you serious about a career in this interesting and evolving sector.
Then get in touch today with one of course advisor.
We are one of Australia’s most progressive Registered Training Organisation with the backing of Australia’s highest-rated online university – Career Education from the University of New England.
Contemporary, innovative and flexible; we are here to help you develop the capabilities required by a rapidly evolving global workplace.
Are you ready to take your next steps?
Enquire with us today to learn how!
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