23rd April 2021

HFL takes part in Salford Council & Knight Frank's Facilities Support Scheme

HFL are delighted to take part in the Salford City Council Kickstart Scheme spearheaded by Facilities Management Company Knight Frank and in collaboration with commercial cleaning group Floorbrite, Ward Security amongst other facility support organisations. The scheme gives young people who are out of work and school an opportunity to gain work exposure by shadowing an experienced tradesperson on site.

Knight Frank presented the idea to HFL to provide mechanical and electrical (M&E) maintenance work exposure to participants which HFL was to happy to take part in. There was a high demand of candidates for the M&E learner roles and HFL decided to give an opportunity to 6 of the learners. Each learner received 2 days’ work experience on Knight Frank’s flagship assets One New Bailey and Two New Bailey sites in Salford, shadowing engineers Stuart Smith and Lewis Rimmer.

Following this work experience, 3 of the learners have been awarded a 6-month traineeship where they shadow an experienced engineer for 3 days a week. There will then be the possibility to convert the traineeship into a full time apprenticeship where the apprentice will also be able to study towards a full trade-qualification.

We asked HFL trainee engineer, Jack Powell, and HFL mentor engineer, Stuart Smith, a few questions regarding the scheme.

Q&A with Jack Powell (HFL Trainee Engineer):-

  • Hi Jack, what experiences and qualifications did you hold prior to joining HFL and what is your age?
    • I was doing an apprenticeship supporting a small domestic plumbing & heating company while studying towards my plumbing qualification in college. With the pandemic, work substantially dried out, my apprenticeship ended and I went on to work as a general labourer for a bit prior to getting this opportunity. I am 19 years old.
  • What do you like about buildings maintenance as a trade?
    • It is something I find very interesting, notably commercial scale, as there is so much behind the operations of large buildings. I enjoy the problem solving bit and the notion of urgency but I know that in order to be successful I have to gain lots of experience and exposure to different systems.
  • How do you feel you are gaining from this traineeship opportunity?
    • This traineeship has given me exposure to commercial scale plumbing and heating. In my previous role I was only exposed to domestic systems. I also feel that I am gaining valuable knowledge and getting the opportunity to work alongside experienced professionals.
  • What are your objectives in the near / medium term?
    • Ideally, I would like to go on as a full time apprentice and finish my plumbing qualification as soon as possible. In the longer term, I want to keep learning new systems and would like to go on to gain other qualifications such as combustion, air conditioning and/or electrical.   

Q&A with Stuart Smith (HFL Mentor Engineer):-

  • Hi Stuart, how do you feel about Jack supporting you in your day to day role?
    • Jack is proving very motivated and professional - showing up on time, keen to learn, remaining focused, and communicating properly with the team on site. I suspect even Knight Frank are happy with him as they have offered him a full kit of hand tools!
  • Do you feel like having a trainee shadowing you can be an advantage or an inconvenience for you?
    • There is definitely the element of safety which I need to always be mindful of. At the beginning, there is a lot of explaining and monitoring to do but progressively Jack is proving to be responsible enough to carry out minor tasks on his own which, in a large multi storey building, can save valuable time. Each day that Jack is here he is familiarising himself with site and our processes and procedures.

Jake Saxton, Contract Manager, has overseen the implementation of this scheme at HFL. His thoughts on the scheme are the following:-

    •  “The NEET Scheme is a great example of a collective of companies working together to improve the local community. It is a great way for young individuals who are motivated – perhaps temporarily out of work but still very bright, slightly experienced and perhaps part qualified – to get on the work ladder, gain from HFL’s experience while providing HFL with additional resource. We ultimately hope that our trainee engineers will continue to grow with us, gaining responsibility and ultimately improving our quality of service.”

For more information on collaborator Floorbrite’s experience with Knight Frank’s Facilities Support Scheme please visit the following link:https://www.linkedin.com/posts/ninawyers_kickstart2021-peoplematter-neet2021-activity-6788047330382770176-bkV5

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