In the world of facilities management (FM), ongoing staff shortages remain a challenge; the sector is looking to attract the best talent from a shrinking pool of workers. We explore how organisations can level the playing field, both in recruitment and retention for the next generation of their workforce.


The UK labour market finds itself lagging behind pre-pandemic employment rates for 16–64-year-olds. The latest Market Overview report from July 2023 revealed that employment rates are low and job vacancies are estimated to be 232,000 higher than early 2020.


Just like many other industries, FM is grappling with a big issue, there just aren’t enough skilled workers to go around. According to a recent RICS UK Facilities Management Survey, as of Q4 2022, some 65% of FM services were having a tough time finding the right people for the job[1].


The future could point towards a scenario where FM teams might find themselves short-handed, due to a mix of retiring workers, tight budgets, and other obstacles. However, today’s progressive organisations have a chance to not just tackle these hurdles but completely transform the industry.


So, where can you find workers with the necessary skills to carry out essential work needed to keep your business running?


Untapped Talent


The current shift in the job market is influenced by a range of factors post-pandemic. What’s important now is finding a real solution.


There’s an untapped workforce ready to step into these roles, including ex-offenders, care leavers, and other traditionally marginalised groups. Businesses can make a difference by putting trust in these often-skilled workers, helping to break down unfair stereotypes attached to these groups.


Take, for instance, ex-offenders. All too often, people leaving prison find themselves with no place to go, and sometimes even end up homeless. This has to change. They deserve security and stability for their rehabilitation. Bringing ex-offenders back into the job market benefits UK businesses greatly, while also providing a lifeline for those seeking job opportunities.


Rather than marginalising and excluding them, we should invest in and spotlight these individuals who need a fresh start, especially when they already have valuable skills and training from their past experiences.


By working with local communities, we can create a shared journey between skilled employers who need workers and individuals who are looking to apply their skills or learn new ones.


We’ve personally witnessed how trust, confidence, and belief can transform lives. It’s time for the entire industry to reach out and offer the security and stability that people from disadvantaged groups often lack. Together, we have the chance to make positive social and economic changes while filling labour gaps at the same time.


Introducing Evolve


Through our innovative Evolve initiative, we’ve built an ecosystem that connects untapped talent with leading businesses across various industries.


Our ground-breaking initiative is all about creating lasting employment opportunities for people from disadvantaged groups who have faced tough odds. We’re not just aiming to boost the earning potential of low-income workers, like cleaners, we’re also shaking up the labour market by bringing in a wider range of talent for UK businesses.


The initiative brings in candidates from all walks of life: ex-offenders, long-term unemployed, those who have left the care system, refugees, people with disabilities, and those who don’t have a stable place to live. We’re giving them the dedicated support they need to build up their skills, get more confident, and land meaningful jobs.


We’ve teamed up with some pretty impressive organisations – New Futures Network, The Timpson Foundation, Ingeus, and Shaw Trust – to reach and recruit people who often get overlooked for jobs. Once we find these impressive candidates, we place them in cleaning roles at our Evolve Partner sites.


But Evolve isn’t just about a job. We’re using our connections with our progressive clients like PureGym, A.P. Moller – Maersk, and DPD to help these candidates move into even better roles in lots of different industries.


The results are already speaking for themselves. We’ve got ex-offenders and care leavers making an impact as cleaners at PureGym, all while getting free training to become personal trainers.


With labour hard to come by in the UK right now, and the cost-of-living skyrocketing, Evolve stands as an initiative poised to confront these pressing issues head-on. It also paves a new transformative path for people who’ve often been left out of conversations about jobs and career progress.


To find out more about Evolve, and how you can get involved, visit: