Profound Impact 2014

The Profound Impact Award has been created to recognised profound impact – created and delivered through outstanding FM best practice during the last five years.


Winner: ISS
Initiative: Employability: Providing opportunities today for the talent of tomorrow
Sponsor: Vinci Facilities

Best practice learning points

> Meaningful commitment begins in schools through visits and high-quality work experience
> Formal ‘Work Inspiration’ programme developed in conjunction with Business in the Community (BITC) supports the transition between the classroom and workplace.
> 1000 student placements aged between 14-16 offered across the business over a three year period to 2015 designed to introduce a new generation to the world of FM.
> The programme introduces students to a previously unknown career path and highlights the opportunities which exist
> The programme includes an in depth overview of the FM industry, experience of real life working environments as well as practical and transferable skills such as CV writing
> Deprived areas with generational long term unemployment are targeted with the students allocated to a specific department and given the opportunity for client visits.
> 250 formal apprenticeships created for 2015 taking the total to 750 within the business
> Graduate trainees are given significant responsibility early on with many examples of how these recruits have progressed quickly into senior positions
> Cross-industry, high profile campaign run with BITC and Asset Skills aimed at uniting the industry behind apprenticeships


By recognising both the business case and altruistic benefits of engaging with young people, ISS are making a consistently profound impact on the young people it works with and on society more broadly. It is a passion and commitment evidenced by the company’s extensive training programmes and diverse employment opportunities which reach out to all sections of society and secure a steady stream of new talent into the business. ISS believe that improving employment prospects, be it through community-focused employment projects, school engagement initiatives, work experience or apprenticeships is not just about philanthropy, there is a sound business case as well as social and moral one. It is this attitude which makes it the winner this year.

ISS know that by harnessing the most relevant skills for the future workforce it will be best equipped to prepare for the future and meet the changing needs of its business and clients. The company is even more resolved to do what it can to help rectify the number of 18-24 years olds out of work in the UK. ISS has set itself the challenge of addressing the enduring obstacles being faced by young people when entering the competitive world of work. It recognises that as one of the world’s largest employers it is well placed to help tackle this issue and transform lives. With the scope and diversity offered by a career in FM, ISS knows that the industry is a good fit with the youth demographic especially in terms of entry-level roles for those with limited experience.
From a business perspective ISS say that young talent is their future lifeblood and helps them plug a skills gap and achieve their strategic goal of becoming the world’s greatest service organisation. In addition to a formal Work Inspiration programme which introduces FM to school students and helps them to transition into the workplace, ISS also offers a full apprenticeship scheme in conjunction with the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) and training provider Babcock, which will have an additional 250 placement in 2015 taking the total to 750 within the business to date.

The company also runs a graduate training scheme with one recent recruit working on the mobilisation of one of the large accounts for the company, A project of this scale represented a real baptism of fire and was a significant learning experience for the medical graduate who now is a project manager analysing energy performance and overseeing energy reduction targets across a global portfolio. The company says that with FM traditionally blighted by a high turnover of staff, bringing young people in at graduate or apprenticeship level significantly increases the length of time new recruits stay in the business and this attraction and retention of top talent has demonstrable business benefits.

This commitment goes right to the top. CEO UK and Ireland, Richard Sykes is involved in the Prince’s Trust Built Environment Leadership Group which focuses on youth employability, he is also part of the Business in the Community’s (BITC) Talent and Leadership Team and has been invited to join the Barclays Lifeskills Advisory Group. As a member of the Generation Talent Champions Group (joint initiative between BITC and the Department of Work and Pensions) he has joined forces with a consortium of 15 businesses that have identified how just small changes to their recruitment process can make as many as 25,000 jobs available to the unemployed.

“ISS has inspired me to want to do more with myself. I now know I’m capable of things I’ve never tried and it has made me want a career, a career I wouldn’t have thought of before I came here”. Janet Fitzsimmons, 15 year old who spent her time with the central HR team.

“My confidence has improved immensely as a result of working for a global organisation and realising that I am more than capable of making a positive contribution. This fabulous opportunity will enhance my career prospects greatly, with the possibilities for my future business life being endless” Amy Louise Shelton, apprentice facilities manager

The Judges said

A great story which supports the future of the FM industry. A lot of activities of real worth that can be emulated across the supply side of the industry. Raising awareness of FM within schools. The programme has been ongoing for a number of years within ISS with former graduates of the scheme actively recruiting new graduates.