Optimum Group Services marks National Apprenticeship Week with the introduction of a new scheme for IT specialists.

Optimum Group Services apprenticeship scheme invites new applicants interested in engineering, business and now IT Systems

Facilities management company Optimum Group Services this week introduced a new apprenticeship as part of its widely recognised apprenticeship scheme.

To coincide with this year’s National Apprenticeship Week (4-8 March), Optimum has launched a new apprenticeship scheme focusing on IT Systems, based in London.

The scheme’s first Level 4 IT Analyst Apprentice will start in post on Monday (11 March). Hasnain Salam, aged 22 from Walthamstow said: “I am so excited to be Optimum’s first ever IT apprentice. It’s a great opportunity for me to start my career with all of the skills and knowledge I’ll need to take me forward.”

The company is also using the week to invite budding mechanical engineers and air and cooling specialists to apply for spaces on this year’s technical and non-technical schemes which begin in September.
Optimum Group Services has welcomed nearly 30 people onto its apprenticeships since the scheme began in 2011 and many remain employed by the Group. Some have also progressed into management roles after undertaking further career progression pathways offered by Optimum.

Apprentices progressing through the scheme currently are specialising in a range of interests including electrical engineering, building services and business support.

The Optimum Group Services apprentice scheme is widely recognised as one of the most comprehensive in the facilities management industry, with four different apprenticeship schemes under its belt. The company offers apprenticeships in mechanical engineering, air and cooling systems, business support and now IT Systems.

This approach helps develop the highly skilled employees needed to work on Optimum’s increasingly technologically advanced locations.
The company’s apprentices are mentored by Optimum Directors and Senior Managers. They’re provided with regular hands-on practical workshops – such as core electrical skills, how to change bearings, or how to engage with customers.

Personal Task Sheets, Task Books and tests are used to help each apprentice gain better understanding of their role and responsibilities. Apprentices are also invited to take part in role play scenerios to help to build their confidence and knowledge of specific issues.

As well as learning the skills of their specific trade, participants are also invited to learn the skills required to meet the specialist needs of Optimum’s customers with apprentices getting involved in the tender processes, providing in-depth insights into the projects they are involved with.

Rebecca Homden, 17, is in her first year as an apprentice on the Level 3 Building Services apprenticeship. On conclusion of the course, she will be Optimum’s first female H-VAC qualified engineer, something she is very proud of. Rebecca said: “I knew quite early that this was the kind of job I wanted to do. I don’t like sitting at a computer all day. I like learning, getting out and about and speaking to people. I’m dyslexic so I’ve struggled with classroom work in the past, but the college is excellent. They have visual ways of helping me learn so that I don’t have to write as much and the team at Optimum has been really supportive.
Rebecca continued: “School wasn’t for me and I was nervous about taking on an apprenticeship, but everyone has been very kind. I have people I work with who understand and help me to learn. The people I work with are the best thing about the job. I’d say to anyone thinking about taking part to just go for it. Try something new, you might like it.
“I’m really proud to be an apprentice and can’t wait to be Optimum’s first female HVAC qualified engineer. It was a real challenge for me, but one that is paying off.”

A number of former Optimum apprentices are still with the company.
Mick Brooker, Technical Director said: “My apprenticeship was vital, not just in shaping my career but in making me who I am today. It was a great opportunity for me to get my career off the ground. It’s given me confidence, knowledge and general life experience that I just wouldn’t have got elsewhere. You get out of it what you put in. For anyone thinking about doing it, all you need is a good attitude and we can teach you the rest.”
People Team Director Amanda Sadler said: “Our apprenticeship schemes are key to the future of our business. Having such dedicated people working at Optimum is great news, not only for us, but also for the hundreds of clients we service every day.”

Optimum also runs a leadership and management course for the future leaders of the business. The bespoke course, run by the Institute of Leadership Management, runs every year for around 10 members of the Optimum management team.

To apply to become an apprentice, please send your CV and a covering note to peopleteam@weareoptimum.co.uk