Iyra Williams

Iyra Williams had been at Luton & Dunstable University Hospital for around three years when ISS took over the facilities management contract. Until that point, his job hadn’t been everything he had hoped for. He was looking to forge a career path but found that job development opportunities had stalled. 

Before ISS appeared at the hospital, my career had kind of stagnated,” he explains. “I had enjoyed previous jobs on the operations side of food services, but I’d reached a place where I couldn’t see my next step. My previous employer at the hospital had promised me a promotion and development opportunities. But it turned out to be false hope. Nothing had ever materialised.”

Today, his outlook is very different. “ISS opened my eyes to the variety of career paths out there for me,” he says. “The company has shown me that they are willing to drive my career forward and let me explore things I might enjoy.”

The company has shown me that they are willing to drive my career forward and let me explore things I might enjoy

Iyra Williams, Payroll and Administration Manager, Luton & Dunstable University Hospital
Investing in long-term career goals

While things did not change immediately—the contract mobilised during the Covid-19 pandemic—Iyra started to feel more optimistic after an early meeting with a training manager working as part of the ISS mobilisation team. 

The training manager asked me what I wanted to do,” Iyra explains. “It took me back to the beginning of my time at Luton & Dunstable, where the promise of additional qualifications had really been a selling point for me. When we had that meeting, I knew I wanted to do more; I wanted to push myself. And that was when we started looking into the possibility of an apprenticeship.”

Iyra subsequently applied for and started a level five Operations/Department Manager apprenticeship. ISS funds the course and allows the equivalent of one day per week of paid time for Iyra to complete his online courses and assignments and build his portfolio. 

He is also juggling a bigger role with more responsibility, having been promoted to Payroll and Administration Manager in March 2022. In his new role, Iyra leads a team of four, and together they manage the employee helpdesk and payroll for the hospital’s 400-strong team. 

Iyra says his well-deserved promotion and his apprenticeship both support his longer-term career goals: “I like managing people and being a point of inspiration for my team. My apprenticeship is a long-term investment in my desire to step back into operations, for example, as a Key Account Manager at ISS.”

His plans are not set; he is enjoying the opportunity to work with people from different industries and understand the pressures of their roles. While he is keen to pursue further management responsibilities, he is open to discovering where his career could take him. 

I know roughly where I want to be,” he explains. “But there are so many options, and I don’t know what might capture my interest further down the line. I never would have thought cleaning would be an area I was interested in. But, since I’ve worked in the healthcare industry, I’ve seen it in a new light. For now, I am happy that ISS is investing in my apprenticeship and that I’m working for a company that looks to promote from within, wherever it can. It’s a testament to the way ISS works.