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Gabriel Petcu - Facilities Support Co-ordinator at RNLI

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Gabriel-Razvan Petcu’s apprenticeship training got him on the career path with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), and his ambitions were swiftly recognised. Having joined the RNLI in an administrative role in 2016, within three months of starting his facilities management supervisor (level 3) apprenticeship he was promoted. He is now a facilities support co-ordinator with the RNLI.

By strengthening his skill set from both hands on experience and training, it is acknowledged within the lifesaving charity that he possesses strong career prospects. He said: “I decided to start the apprenticeship on the recommendation of my line manager, and I felt it would be a good way to improve my knowledge. The training enabled me to progress quickly. I want to remain in facilities management and with the RNLI. Ideally, in two years I would like to advance to contract management and then become a facilities manager.”

HIT Training have partnered with the RNLI to attract new recruits and to improve the skills of existing employees through the facilities management supervisor (level 3) apprenticeship. The multi-disciplinary programme offers an overview of the facilities management sector, providing information about both soft services (building security, catering and cleaning) and hard services (fire safety systems, heating and plumbing).

Gabriel explained: “The course’s schedule covered all of the important aspects of facilities management including budgets, health and safety, management and procurement. “The course’s workbooks were easy to use. The information was right there, with many practical examples via online articles, and online video clips that really helped to pull everything together. “Working in the same domain as the one in which I was learning helped to embed the information. With the help of my HIT Training consultant I overcame my fear of public speaking, I now confidently give presentations in front of a large audience.”

Gabriel demonstrated his improved skills as the lead in an RNLI-wide estate management project, where he made plenty of overall improvements. His commitment and enthusiasm were soon recognised, resulting in his promotion to facilities support co-ordinator.

The RNLI, the charity that has been saving lives at sea since 1824, employs 1,700 across several industry sectors that include engineering, facilities management, finance, fundraising, HR legal, marketing and IT. Their apprenticeship schemes have proved successful since their inception in 1989, many leading to permanent employment within the organisation.

Gabriel added: “With the benefit of learning, my technical knowledge of building services increased and enabled me to take on extra responsibilities like issuing health and safety work permits and facilities management projects. The skills I acquired have dramatically helped me to grow as an individual. In the ‘Managing Myself and Others’ module I learned different techniques relating to emotional intelligence, which helps me to manage myself as well as a team. Shortly after completing the ‘Procurement’ module I took part in a tender process, which offered opportunities to put my new knowledge into practice by applying the learning outcomes. By putting those skills I have acquired from an apprenticeship into practice, I believe that I will be able to contribute more to what the RNLI stands for and believes in.”​

Working for the RNLI offers an extra layer of job satisfaction by knowing that my activities make a contribution, however indirectly, to the lifesaving charity. But not a day goes by without me applying or referring to a learning outcome from my apprenticeship.”

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It was great speaking to our account manager, Catherine, this afternoon and great to hear that HIT are being so supportive with our apprentices, I found the call very positive in a time of crisis, so thank you.

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McMullen’s chose HIT as its sole external provider for Apprenticeships and vocational qualifications in early 2015 and since then we have found them a pleasure to work with.  Their expertise in this sector is superior and they have proven to be a professional and supportive partner who have a passion for learning and development, which matches our own organisation.

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Encouraging our staff to improve their skills set and supporting them through apprenticeships and training programmes underlines our commitment to help them further develop their own careers. Offering the Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship also gives the Brend Group a point of difference which I’m convinced will help attract new members of staff in the future.

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Our partnership with HIT has certainly made recruitment much easier in a very difficult labour market and gives us a point of difference in an increasingly competitive environment.  Kew Green has also benefited enormously from well trained, skilled and competent staff who contribute significantly to the ever improving and high levels of customer experience that our guests expect and deserve.

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Apprenticeships allow us to give people a great opportunity to develop a career with us and learn a skill or trade that will accompany them throughout their career and life. We see progression to the Level 4 qualification as key to our strategy of providing development at all stages of an employee’s career with Harrison.

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