Manchester school children at The East Manchester Academy, Phillips High School and Mount St Joseph could be amongst the next generation of technical talent.

This month, ABM UK kicked off its Junior Engineering Engagement Programme (J.E.E.P.) for local year sevens. The programme aims to tackle misperceptions amongst children and parents of apprenticeships and the facilities management (FM) industry.

Supported by education delivery partner, The Transformation Trust, the programme has now been taught to over 450 students. Additionally, the J.E.E.P. Teacher Pack has been developed for easy use in secondary schools incorporating everything teachers need to deliver the programme themselves. The pack has been downloaded over a thousand times to date.

Cathy O’Donnell, teacher at East Manchester Academy, says: “The J.E.E.P. is an engaging, interactive programme for our year seven students and is a great way to increase their interest in STEM subjects and the future careers these can lead on to, including facilities management.

“The sessions are fast-paced and interactive, so the students are kept fully engaged at all times. It is a good mixture of information and hands-on work which works very well with this age group.”

ABM UK director, Adam Baker, says: “The past two years have been a huge success so we’re thrilled that we are now offering the J.E.E.P. initiative to three new schools in Manchester! We want to ensure all young people have the same opportunities to learn about the variety of paths to success available to them. University is not the only way!

“When asked for feedback, 100% of teachers agreed that their students were more interested in learning skills in STEM following their involvement in J.E.E.P. Feedback like this shows us that the programme is working. Our goal is to change perceptions of apprenticeships and the FM industry across the UK and we’re in it for the long haul!”

Cate Smith, Senior Programme Manager at the Transformation Trust says: “We are so pleased to be working with ABM UK on year three of the J.E.E.P. Last year, we saw huge success with the nine participating schools and received incredibly positive feedback across the board in our end of project evaluations.

“Our hope is that the continuing success of the J.E.E.P can pave the way for other initiatives like this, and ultimately support the FM industry in closing the skills gap. Initiatives like this are a great way to introduce young people to a new interest through fun, curriculum-linked activities and experiments. It’s our job to deliver the J.E.E.P in the most engaging way possible and to ensure the students leave excited about their potential future in FM!”

For more information on the programme, visit


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