Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Facility Managers (FM) have decried the lack of growth of the sub-sector.
They also expressed dissatisfaction that the profession was not attracting and training talents to fill the increasing demand for skilled facilities and workplace practitioners.
The managers therefore noted that it had become imperative to mitigate the possibility of bequeathing an industry which lacks capacity to move forward to the next generation of FM practitioners.
They also recognised the fact that without an industry succession plans in place, the visibility and value of the profession on the African continent would erode quickly.
Against this background, an expert in facility management, Mr. Collins Osayamwen, at a dinner in Abuja launched The Heritage Foundation, a non-profit organisation, dedicated to nurturing young talents and providing the opportunities necessary or attracting young professionals to take up FM as a permanent career choice.
He explained that the launching of the foundation which also coincided with his 50th birth celebration, would also creates education and mentoring programs that allow existing professionals support those entering or transitioning to facilities and workplace management careers.
Osayamwen, stressed that one of the interesting aspects of facilities management was that almost no one in the profession started out intending to be a facility manager.
He stated, “When two facility mangers meet, the conversation is likely to start with the question, how did you get into FM? This diversity of experience makes for interesting conversation and vibrancy to the field.
“However, there is a problem. It will be difficult to move ahead with a new generation of professionals that will start out as Facilities Manager. For Facilities Management to become a profession, it must advance behind on-the-job training.
“More than half of today’s Facilities and Workplace Management practitioners are expected to retire within the next 5 to 15 years. Research shows that the average age of a practicing FM is 49 years.”
Osayamwen stressed that the profession is experiencing increased demand for qualified talents, however, the gap is widening between available FM talents and job demand.