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21 June 2018
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France - Chelsea Peterson

FM’s shift from physical maintenance to people and performance - and the need for better skilled workers - dominate the continent’s FM development themes in 2017.

France Chelsea Peterson

15 May 2017 | Martin Read and Jamie Harris

Resilience is the main focal point for the FM industry in France in 2017, reports Chelsea Peterson.

“France has been through a rough time,” she says. “And we need to make sure our buildings can operate during those times.”

Security is, not surprisingly, in the public eye. “Outsourcing has become more about providing security, being able to transfer that risk to someone with the expertise to deal with it – not just about keeping business as usual during office hours, but outside those hours too. It’s around the clock FM.”

Outsourcing is perhaps too dominated by the likes of Vinci, Faceo (absorbed by Vinci) and Bouygues. But despite the fact that French companies tend to be highly protected in their home market, more international providers have come in from overseas.

There remains, however, a stigma attached to working with companies that don’t have French roots and it has been historically difficult for other firms to enter the market.

This said, outsourcing is having its day in the sun. 

“We need people who are constantly up to date with training and development, with the ability to branch off into other areas – it’s no longer about just specialising in health and safety, for example,” says Peterson, who says it is difficult to find the right training for FM skills in France – and indeed across many countries in Europe.

“We do a lot of training, but we go to the UK and come back to share the knowledge we acquire there with those on the contract, those locally engaged staff.

The current French presidential elections are unlikely to affect FM, suspects Peterson.


“Both candidates are focused on the environment and sustainability, and even though they have different ideas on carbon tax I don’t see it having an impact as we, as a country, are purchasing with the environmental impact, resilience of equipment and failure mechanisms in mind.”

We're broadcasting live at 12 noon BST on World FM Day, Wednesday 17 May. You'll be able to hear audio interviews with some of the international correspondents mentioned above, as we capture a snapshot of FM across the globe in 2017, as well as live discussion on the issues and themes that have arisen. Tune in here.

Emma Potter
Facilities Management Worldwide