Leading FM provider OCS is to offer apprenticeship pathways in cleaning, catering, security, hospitality and hard services to develop future talent and support career progression, which provides soft services and laundry services to British Airways, among other major clients,

The company has made a commitment to increase its number of apprenticeship placements in the UK and Ireland to over 1,000 in the next 12-months, along with making investments in its funded learning programme.

With the recent announcement of its vision to make people and places the best they can be as part of its brand strategy, the move reinforces OCS’` commitments to social mobility and impact.  This includes driving social value initiatives, such as apprenticeship schemes and funded learning, to improve sustainable employment by providing empowering careers and embracing diversity.

OCS has experienced a 140% growth in the uptake of its apprenticeships over the past year and aims to continue this upwards trajectory by offering opportunities for each of its service lines – facilities management, security, pest control, cleaning, catering and hospitality and hard services.

The FM provider, based in Ipswich, currently offers 12 professional pathways and 39 programmes to support its business units. In addition to its service lines, this includes opportunities in management and leadership, coaching and mentoring, and customer service and sales. With a focus on investing in the development and upskilling its internal colleagues, these pathways and programmes are open to both employees and external candidates.

Apprenticeship pathways will be available at entry level (level 2) and for management (level 3), and OCS is currently in the process of revising its higher apprenticeship pathway (level 4) with the Institute for Apprentices and Technical Education.

Toni Marie-Vaughan, head of social mobility at OCS UK and Ireland, commented: “Whilst it’s important that we continue to open up more opportunities for people who are looking to develop, our priority will always remain on the quality of programmes delivered. We are working with a number of partners to help do this.

“Additionally, we have made further investments into our online training modules which are delivered through the OCS Academy. Learners can tap into all kinds of programmes in addition to the training that is structured around the pathway they have chosen. Along with e-learning and on-the-job training, learners can expect regular line management meetings and coaching conversations, time for studying away from practical training, and progress reports,” she added.

Daniel Dickson, chief executive officer at OCS UK and Ireland, said: “It’s exciting that we operate in an industry which can provide opportunities for further development within many different career paths. Our apprenticeship scheme and funded learning pathways are accessible to everyone, regardless of their age, gender, background, level of education or experience.

“It also opens doors for people who might not have been able to progress their careers previously due to other commitments and are now looking to transform their lives. As a company, we’re proud to support their ambitions and help them take that next step on their career journey.”

For more information about OCS’s apprentices and funded learning programmes, click here.