Sodexo has seen the first five employees graduate from its British Institute of Facilities Management-accredited training programme.

The Sodexo IFM Academy achieved recognition from BIFM two years ago, and was seen as a step in Sodexo’s development as a recognised BIFM centre of excellence in integrated facilities management. More than half of Sodexo’s UK and Ireland activity is made up of IFM business.

The first five graduates, from Sodexo Corporate Services and Sodexo Healthcare, now have a BIFM level 4 qualification, giving them an insight into the FM marketplace and the skills and knowledge to manage and operate IFM contracts.

A further 80 employees are enrolled into the Sodexo IFM Academy, with more expected to graduate next year.

Andrew Wilkinson, Sodexo Corporate Services marketing director, said: “As the FM industry becomes increasingly professionalised and the marketplace moves towards a delivery model of strategic partnerships, the Sodexo IFM Academy is central to providing both meaningful development to employees and a platform to compete.

“We’re incredibly proud of our first graduates from the Sodexo IFM Academy, who have worked hard to earn a BIFM level 4 qualification. By training our employees to such a high standard we look to benefit clients by bringing them a solid understanding of an industry that is constantly evolving and responding to trends in technology and practice.”

Linda Hausmanis, acting CEO of BIFM, said: “The Sodexo IFM Academy demonstrates a true partnership between BIFM and industry. We have worked closely with Sodexo’s learning and development team to put in place the framework and process that will train and develop their teams towards the achievement of an internationally recognised professional qualification aligned  to the FM Professional Standards. It evidences the value that employers place on upskilling staff with BIFM accredited qualifications and the FM professional standards that underpin them.

“I extend my congratulations to the individuals from this first cohort of graduates, and look forwarding to recognising the achievements of many more individuals currently enrolled in BIFM accredited programmes through the IFM Academy over the coming months and years ahead.”

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