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Register now for the Cleaning Matters digital conference 23/07/2021

WESTERN BUSINESS Media is excited to announce the launch of the Cleaning Matters Live digital conference, which includes The Cleaning Excellence Awards.

Taking place on 17 November 2021, Cleaning Matters Live is part of a series of conferences from Western Business Media's family of publications. 

Running on seven consecutive Wednesday's these conferences will offer delegates the chance to network with each other, speakers and sponsors on the day via live chat or requesting a video call. They will also be able to Direct Message sponsors when accessing the on-demand service.

All attendees will also have access to the six-hour conference programme and will receive CPD points for their attendance. Cleaning Matters Live will also host the inaugural Cleaning Excellence Awards, which celebrate innovation and standards from across the cleaning sector. In addition, Health and Safety Matters Live will incorporate the Safety and Health Excellence Awards 2021.

You can register to attend any of these Digital Conference for FREE by clicking on the relevant links below. You will have the option to register only once and be able to attend any of the digital conferences.

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The value of clean through data 28/06/2021

In the age of COVID-19, the true value of the cleaning industry has become crystal clear. According to Dianna Steinbach ongoing cleaning, disinfecting, and infection prevention best practices are now absolutely essential. 

BUSINESSES THAT suffered financial losses or cutbacks due to COVID-19 restrictions are going to be looking for ways to save money and facility budgets are one area where they may turn. 

Therefore, it’s now even more important than it was before the pandemic for cleaning industry professionals to make a strong financial business case that cleaning should be considered a critical investment, rather than a cost. Achieving this relies on leveraging the right information and statistics. 

The business case for cleaning

Communicating the best business case for investing in proper cleaning right now requires you to connect the dots between your services or products and an organisation’s top pain points.  

The power of your case comes from sharing the right data to catch decision makers’ attention and explain how you help solve their current issues.

Investing in a high-quality cleaning programme can deliver numerous benefits including: reduced risk of virus transmission; improved occupant productivity, comfort and wellness; enhanced customer satisfaction; reduced liability; and ultimately, financial returns. 

ISSA has gathered data from around the world to make it easier for cleaning professionals to demonstrate the true value of cleaning and disinfection, particularly in the COVID-19 stabilisation phase of the pandemic. 

For example, improved cleaning and basic hand hygiene measures can reduce viruses on a surface by more than 85 per cent, according to a study in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health 2019. 

Moreover, research shows satisfaction with workplace cleanliness enhances employee productivity and the quality of work (Wageningen University & Research), while cleanliness reduces instances of absenteeism – a global issue that negatively impacts productivity and costs businesses billions of dollars each year. The direct costs of absenteeism alone lead to a loss of AUD 44 billion per annum (Australian Industry Group). 

Cleanliness has also been found to influence customer perceptions and actions, with 79 per cent of EU citizens feeling less inclined to shop when the store’s environment is dirty (A.I.S.E). 

And when it comes to profitability, regular cleaning and maintenance increases a building’s lifetime value and preserves assets; with a maintenance plan in place, it is estimated a large facility could save over USD 40,000 on annual floor life-cycle costs (DPM Care). 

ISSA Value of Clean tools

Sharing the right data with decision makers is a good first step, but what makes the strongest case is relating that information back to their specific situation. That’s why ISSA created the ISSA Value of Clean tools – including the Value of Clean Data Report and Infographic and Calculator – to help cleaning industry professionals create their own value calculations centred around improved occupant health and productivity, as well as lengthened asset preservation and more. In light of major changes to the industry following the COVID-19 crisis, ISSA has updated these valuable tools. 

As a result, companies will better understand how to invest in cleaning to protect the wellbeing of key stakeholders and enhance brand reputation and customer satisfaction through cleanliness. 

The ISSA Value of Clean tools include the following resources: 

  • The ISSA Value of Clean Data Report includes valuable studies and data compiled from a variety of sources, supporting the argument that investing in cleaning leads to bottom-line financial gain
  • The ISSA Value of Clean Infographic is created for cleaning professionals to be able to download, print, embed on a website or share on social media
  • The ISSA Value of Clean Calculator can be used to customise a special business case for customers and calculate the return on investment of proper cleaning
  • The ISSA Power of Clean Video is an animated video free to share on a professional cleaning website or social media account. ISSA members can add this resource to their own presentations and videos
  • The ISSA Value of Clean tools are designed to provide the facts and figures needed to highlight the importance of cleaning for better occupant health, safer environments and an improved bottom line for facilities. 

ISSA’s Value of Clean data and tools have been helping cleaning professionals and facility managers around the world protect their budgets for many years. In response to the impact of COVID-19, we’re very pleased to provide this updated data when our members, and their facility customers, need it most to justify the proper level of cleaning to protect occupant safety and health.

Companies can access these exclusive benefits and more when becoming an ISSA member. 

Dianna Steinbach is vice president of corporate development at ISSA.

For more information visit www.issa.com/

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CEPA president steps down 28/06/2021

AFTER THREE years, Henry Mott has resigned as president of CEPA, the European Pest Management Solutions Professional Association.

Following Henry's resignation, former vice-president Marc Aubry has been voted as president and Monica Biglietto as vice-president of CEPA until the next elections planned for 2023.

During his tenure, Henry has overseen the revolutionising of the governance of CEPA, while making it a visible and active player on the European political scene.

As president during the COVID-19 pandemic, Henry had the enormous task of building recognition for the pest management industry's valuable work in Europe.

In a year that saw public health thrust to the forefront of government agendas, CEPA made strides to increase the visibility of the pest management sector's vital role in protecting public health at a European level.

CEPA and Henry were busy lobbying key decision-makers and stakeholders in Brussels, while supporting pest management workers across Europe and monitoring the effects of Covid-19 on SMEs across the sector.

He oversaw the launching of several initiatives and worked with stakeholders to support the sector and share key information on operating during the pandemic, such as a tracker to highlight which countries had officially declared that pest managers would be allowed to continue their work during lockdowns.

Ian Andrew, BPCA chief exec and co-chair of the CEPA Professionalisation Working Group, commented: "Henry has been instrumental in moving CEPA to where it needs to be, lobbying effectively in the corridors of Brussels to raise the profile and importance of the pest control sector in maintaining public health.

"Some vital governance changes have been successfully delivered during Henry’s tenure which will put CEPA on a much firmer footing for those who follow him. It has been a pleasure working alongside Henry for at least part of this journey."

For more information visit cepa-europe.org

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How autonomous mobile robots are transforming the cleaning sector 22/07/2021

Michel Spruijt discusses the future of the cleaning sector and the role autonomous mobile robots will play.

CLEANING OPERATIONS have always been an essential part of any business. However, with the onset of COVID-19 last year, cleanliness became a major concern at all levels of society, from business leadership to the broader public, and the need for visible solutions became pressing almost overnight. 

We all know the cliche that crisis is another word for opportunity. The recent worldwide pandemic has been no exception to this rule. Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) have had a significant opportunity to showcase their features and benefits in the last year and a half, and interest in these self-driving machines has since shot up, with 73% of supply chain managers stating that robotics will be important in the future. With hygiene as a top priority, cleaning robots have introduced an enhanced and verifiable level of cleanliness to encourage both workers and customers back into workplaces and public spaces.

In turn, robotic cleaning units have changed the nature of cleaning operations for the foreseeable future. According to a new retail survey from RetailWire and Brain Corp, the statistics on this matter speak for themselves, showing nearly half (47%) of all retailers plan to have an in-store robotic automation project underway in the next 18 months.

AMRs have impacted the cleaning sector in various ways, ranging from changing how cleaning teams work, shifting the methods by which hygiene is measured, and elevating the role that cleaning operations play in the sphere of brand image. But, the overall picture is clear: autonomous cleaning robots have made a profound mark on the world of hygiene operations, owing largely to the restrictions and demands generated by COVID-19. 

A revolution in ground operations

Autonomous cleaning units have stepped up to the challenges COVID-19 presented in ways both obvious and not. Among the changes has been the effect that such machines have had on how cleaning staff work. 

First, modern cleaning robots typically come equipped with intuitive and user-friendly interfaces, allowing staff to program them without the need for extensive education or familiarisation. Modern AMRs leverage a unique “teach and repeat” function, whereby an operator ‘trains’ the robot by executing the cleaning route; the route is then stored into the machine for ongoing use. This enables almost anyone to become a robot operator. Where deployed, this innovative capability has removed the need for lengthy and expensive training and ensured that robots can be integrated seamlessly into cleaning operations. Moreover, rich data collection can be used to deliver unprecedented proof-of-work metrics that allow cleaning operations to be assessed by those in charge. 

The detailed reports generated by these robots give cleaning managers a precise impression of how their machines have performed and what can be done to improve their operations continuously. 

Floor cleaning

With floor cleaning routines ably run by intelligent machines, cleaning staff have more time to turn their attention to higher priority tasks, such as sanitising high-contact surfaces and other sensitive areas. In the retail sector, greater automation in cleaning has freed up shop floor staff to handle people-facing responsibilities, such as serving customers, with greater ease. In manufacturing environments, robotic floor cleaners have allowed employees to manage traffic flow and man production lines. As cleaning teams were pushed to their maximum capacity under pandemic conditions, cleaning robots were one means to ease the burden of an increased workload.

In addition, thanks to reliable automation on the floor cleaning beat, cleaning operations have enjoyed a more significant division of labour, meaning that different responsibilities can be carried out with more efficiency than before. Greater task specialisation has meant that staff members cross paths less often, thus reducing the risk of COVID-19 exposure whilst at work. 

Cumulative benefits

The sector at large has witnessed how robotic units can radically transform workplace cleaning operations. However, the real gains are to be seen by the myriad other advantages offered by AMRs. Despite the context of coronavirus, automated cleaning robots have countered many long-standing problems in the industry. 

Environmental hazards are an evergreen problem for the cleaning sector. According to The Health and Safety Executive, slips, trips, and falls remain the most common form of non-fatal accidents on the job (29%), affecting floor cleaning staff directly, given their daily exposure to risks working on floor surfaces. But with automated solutions in place, human error and exposure to hazards can be dramatically reduced, giving business leaders less concern around workplace safety and absentee rates. 

According to Brain Corp data, hard statistics back this trend; through the first three quarters of 2020, cleaning robots freed up approximately 2.4 million hours of productivity for workers in various high-traffic public locations, up from 331,000 hours during the year before.

Additionally, as robots never fall ill, they don’t require time away from work and are not threatened by potential viral infection. This mechanical consistency has had profound implications not only for cleaning operations but also productivity at large. Managers have bridged operational gaps and increased reliability and consistency at a time when labour shortages and illness have continued to threaten cleaning operations during a critical pandemic scenario. As a result, it has countered working hours lost to sickness and injury, a problem that blighted the sector before the pandemic.

These cumulative points add up to major productivity boosts, which has meant a greater ROI when it comes to facilities cleaning. 

Cleaning as a new brand value

The sharp focus on hygiene due to the coronavirus has understandably led to it being seen as a high priority for the public. An Accenture report found that in the fallout from COVID-19, 64% of respondents are fearful for their health, and 82% fear for the health of others.

This is also evidenced by Brain Corp’s most recent survey, which found that 72% of retailers expect little reduction in consumer expectations for cleanliness even as the vaccine rollouts gather momentum. 

State-of-the-art robotics have stepped in to meet these raised expectations. Modern units capture rich cleaning data while in operation, meaning their performance can be tracked and assessed. This provides quantifiable evidence of the effectiveness and means the proficiency of cleaning operations can be evaluated precisely without the need for guesswork. 

Moreover, autonomous cleaning units serve as a highly visible indicator of heightened safety precautions and general innovation for the public. When a shopper sees an AI-driven floor scrubber, they can be reassured that the shop they are visiting is doing its utmost to keep them safe and sound.

Lessons learned

Robots have transformative potential but were, until recently, restricted to tightly controlled operating environments, such as manufacturing and industrial settings, when people were not present. However, owing to advancements in technology, autonomous machines have made a dramatic entrance to cleaning operations in public indoor spaces and can safely interact with humans during opening hours. 

As lockdowns lift and mass vaccination efforts continue to get underway, AMRs are set to remain in increasing deployment well after COVID-19 recedes. The past year has been a major showcase of the benefits offered to businesses by autonomous mobile robots, especially in the cleaning sector. 

Leveraging the power of automation technologies and analytics will become increasingly common in the future, especially as variants of COVID-19 linger and the cleaning sector evolves in line with ongoing changes and challenges. Those who realise the value of automation and make the most of these innovations early will inevitably reap the greatest rewards in the years to come. 

Michel Spruijt is GM and VP of BrainCorp Europe

Michel Spruijt joined Brain Corp as the vice president and general manager of Brain Corp Europe in 2019. Michel is responsible for partner support, team expansion, and the oversight of general operations throughout the region. Prior to joining Brain Corp, Michel held the position of general manager EMEA at Ergotron. During his 20 year tenure, Michel successfully built cross-functional teams and managed Ergotron’s growth trajectory in EMEA. He held several roles at Ergotron, including management positions in business development, sales, operations, customer care, technical support, and business operations.  
For more information visit https://www.braincorp.com/

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Have your say in the Cleaning Excellence Awards 23/07/2021

WESTERN BUSINESS Media has announced The Cleaning Excellence Awards, which will shine a spotlight on the most innovative products, services and individuals in the cleaning and hygiene sector.

From technological innovations and smart solutions, to sustainability and individual commitment, the awards celebrate standards of excellence throughout the professional cleaning and hygiene sector.

The Cleaning Excellence Awards will be broadcast on 17 November 2021 as part of Cleaning Matters Live, an unmissable new interactive digital conference for 2021.

There are five categories judged by a panel of highly respected industry experts, as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award chosen by Cleaning Matters’ Editor, Chris Shaw.

The categories are:

1 Cleaning & Hygiene Team of the Year
2 Cleaning Operative of the Year
3 Innovative Product of the Year
4 Sustainable Company of the Year
5 COVID-19 Response Award
6 Lifetime Achievement Award

Cleaning & Hygiene Team of the Year Award

This category is designed to recognise cleaning & hygiene teams that are making a significant difference in their workplace. The submission should demonstrate how the activities and initiatives implemented by the team since 1 January 2020 have helped to improve the hygiene standards and performance within either their own or a client organisation. Any accomplishments achieved prior to this date will not be eligible for entry.

Cleaning Operative of the Year Award

This category is designed to recognise an individual who made a significant contribution to the cleaning & hygiene standards within either their own or a client organisation. They must also have made a significant contribution to the introduction and promotion of standards within cleaning & hygiene.

Innovative Product of the Year Award

This category is designed to recognise products or solutions that have been developed for cleaning & hygiene. The products must have been launched since 1 January 2020. Any products or services launched prior to this date are not eligible for entry. 

Sustainable Company of the Year Award
This category is designed to recognise organisations that push the boundaries in an effort to create an environmentally friendly and affordable solution to an existing potentially polluting product. The judges will give credit for evidence of positive, value adding results that make innovative use of otherwise wasted resources, through; for example, the use of a previously regarded waste product into a new useful product. Initiatives will also be rewarded for addressing energy, water and general ecological footprinting as well as wider concerns around food and waste.

COVID-19 Response Award

This category recognises the extraordinary work that cleaning & hygiene professionals have undertaken with pace and professionalism at the frontline of the nation’s effort to combat COVID-19 and protect the public. It celebrates outstanding individuals or teams and the positive impact they have made in responding to unprecedented circumstances. The winning entry will encapsulate all the hallmarks of a high-performance individual or team and be an inspiration in and beyond our profession.

Lifetime Achievement Award

This prestigious award will be chosen by the Editor of Cleaning Matters and will be awarded to an outstanding individual who has made a tremendous contribution to their industry during their lifetime.

For more information visit: https://cleaningexcellenceawards.com

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New BCC report gives insights into cleaning, hygiene and waste industries 28/05/2021

NEW RESEARCH released by the British Cleaning Council (BCC) has cemented the cleaning, hygiene and waste sector’s position as one of the UK’s top 10 industries.

The BCC’s research report for 2021 was released on 27 May 2021 and gives a highly-detailed picture of the sector.

The latest, revised figures show that the industry contributed £55.5billion to the UK economy in 2018 – a slight rise on previous figures - with turnover soaring in a sector with tens of thousands of businesses.

The latest employment data available, from 2020, shows that there are 1.47million workers in the sector, approximately 5% of the UK workforce and firmly in the top ten UK industries for employment.

Other more recent figures show the varying effect the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns have had on some parts of the industry, with demand soaring in some areas while others saw demand shrink. 

The report also testifies to the change in public attitudes which has put cleaning and hygiene at the top of the agenda and brought widespread recognition for the vital work of the sector’s previously invisible workforce.

Chairman of the BCC, Paul Thrupp, said: “Once again, our annual research report provides some fascinating insights into the cleaning, hygiene and waste sector.

“It testifies to the huge size and importance of the sector, which is one of the ten biggest in the UK and is a huge contributor to the UK economy.

“There are early indications of the impact of the pandemic on the sector, with different parts of the industry being affected in different ways.

“During the pandemic, many cleaning and hygiene operatives have continued to do vital work, protecting the health and wellbeing of others, while often putting themselves at risk. The public recognises and values this contribution.

“Increased awareness of the importance of cleaning and hygiene means our industry will continue to play a vital role as the UK recovers from the pandemic and into the future. I believe the outlook going forward is very positive.“

The BCC issues a yearly research report on the industry, including national data it has collated. Some of the data available for this year’s report has not been updated by national sources due to the pandemic.

The latest data available, from 2018, demonstrates the strength of the industry, with turnover having increased 30% in the previous five years, a rate much greater than all UK economic growth of 13%.

The industry continued to grow up to 2020, with 66,420 businesses operating, up from nearly 60,000 in 2016, the report says. 

Other figures from 2020 show the size of the industry overall. If occupations that involve cleaning and hygiene across other industries such as public services and hospitality are added to the staff directly employed in the sector, the total number of individuals working in the industry is similar to the transport and storage sector at 1.47 million, the report says. It is too early to say for sure but the figure might be slightly down on last year due to the early impact of the pandemic.

Figures from February 2020 to February 2021 show the different impact the pandemic has had in differing parts of the industry:

  • The monthly GDP of services to buildings and landscape activities was 13% below the February 2020 level
  • Waste collection treatment and disposal activities grew at 3.4% over the same time period
  • Manufacture of soap and detergent, cleaning and polishing perfumes and toilet preparations grew by 1.2% during that period.

The report highlights the growing importance the public puts on cleaning in public spaces.  For example, research in the UK found that:  

  • 61% of people who responded said that seeing cleaning and hygiene operatives in public spaces makes them feel that safety measures are being taken seriously
  • 45% agreed that the visibility of cleaning in progress would encourage them to return to an office space, shopping centre or airport.

The report also highlights the role the newly-established All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the UK Cleaning and Hygiene industry will play going forward in areas such as supporting the development of a recognised and universal training accreditation for the industry and raising industry concerns about the availability of labour in the future due to the Immigration Act and Brexit.

For an electronic copy of the report, email compsec@britishcleaningcouncil.org

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UK digital platform provides details on all cleaning services 20/05/2021

FIND MY Cleaner is a one-stop-cleaning-shop. The new advanced electronic directory that has been designed to put cleaning businesses in front of thousands of more potential customers, is set to change the way we book cleaners and maintenance services throughout the UK.

Find My Cleaner helps customers find local cleaning and maintenance companies more easily, without the hassle of googling, asking for recommendations, and having to call for quotes and availability. Customers can find all types of services such as: domestic & commercial cleaning, waste & removal, valeting, laundry, carpet, windows, plus many more...

This digital platform offers members a unique subscription service, providing them with additional leads and enquiries through digital marketing, brand awareness via social media, and website traffic from blog articles that feature members and their services.

Monthly subscriptions cost £120 Platinum, £60 Gold, £40 Silver. Each package features a selection of services to suit all sized businesses. The Platinum package is designed for larger companies with multiple locations throughout the UK. Gold is great for growing companies looking to increase weekly bookings. And Silver is ideal for smaller independents looking to increase online exposure.

Unlike other directories, Find My Cleaner does not take data from google and uses the business’ details as part of a listing. Members can reap the rewards of extra bookings through Find My Cleaner by zero commission and no extra charge for leads, just a small one-off annual fee, that can start from less than £2 per day.

The Find My Cleaner website and app launches initially to companies, offering a complimentary three months with all 12-month subscriptions.

For information visit https://www.findmycleaners.co.uk/



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Cleaning and hygiene industry urged to support apprenticeships bid 24/05/2021

A GROUP of employers who have come together to represent the cleaning and hygiene sector are calling for industry support by 24 May for an accredited training provision in the format of an apprenticeship scheme for the sector.

The employer group, comprising major companies from the sector along with supporting stakeholders, has formed an Apprenticeship Trailblazer group. 

The group has already contacted The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) to seek approval to develop a proposal for the industrywide Professional Cleaning and Hygiene Operative apprenticeship. 

The proposal needs backing from industry and the Trailblazer group is contacting a wide range of businesses and organisations in the cleaning and hygiene sector to ask for their support. 

Businesses and stakeholders in the sector are being urged to email in support to compsec@britishcleaningcouncil.org by 24 May. 

Supporting letters and emails will be presented to the IfATE as part of evidence demonstrating the requirement and demand in the sector for the proposed apprenticeship. 

The Trailblazer group was set up by the British Cleaning Council (BCC) in April and has already won widespread support from the industry. 

Representatives from a wide range of companies are taking part including: 

  • Sodexo
  • Exclusive Contracts
  • Principle Clean
  • OCS
  • Mitie
  • NIC

Supporting stakeholders in the Trailblazer group include: 

  • the Association of Healthcare Cleaning Professionals (ahcp)
  • the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc)
  • the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM)
  • the Cleaning and Support Services Association (CSSA)
  • the National Carpet Cleaners Association (NCCA)
  • the Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners (WCEC)
  • the Business Services Association (BSA). 

If given the greenlight, the Trailblazer would first share its proposals with the newly formed All-Party Parliamentary Group for the UK Cleaning and Hygiene Industry, with the idea of winning the backing of MPs and Members of the House of Lords. The proposals must ultimately be accepted by the IfATE.

The proposed apprenticeship has won widespread support because a highly significant number of cleaning and hygiene companies pay into the Apprenticeship Levy without getting the benefit of being able to fund apprentices themselves for all or some of their core business activities.

The Healthcare Cleaning Operative (HCO) apprenticeship, approved in early 2020, was developed specifically for those cleaning operatives working in the healthcare sector, which leaves operatives in the wider sector unrepresented in the apprenticeship space now that the popular Cleaning and Support Services apprenticeship framework has been withdrawn.  

The HCO apprenticeship demonstrates the technical skills and significant training needed by operatives which is mirrored in the wider sector. 

Chair of the Trailblazer group, head of cleaning at Sodexo UK & Ireland, Lauren Kyle said: “At the moment, many companies in the sector are paying the Apprenticeship Levy without getting any benefit. 

“Some businesses outside of the healthcare sector have tried to adopt the HCO apprenticeship but it just isn’t the right fit. 

“We need an apprenticeship designed specifically for the rest of the cleaning industry and to do this we need to present as much evidence as possible, which is why we are asking any businesses is in the cleaning and hygiene industry who agree that an accredited training and apprenticeship scheme is needed to email their backing. “

British Cleaning Council deputy chair Jim Melvin is part of the Trailblazer group. He said: “There is an overwhelming need for an industry-wide training accreditation and apprenticeship.

“The remarkable and vital work of our cleaning and hygiene colleagues during the pandemic has demonstrated both the importance as well as the skilled nature of our sector’s work. It should no longer be in question 
“If cleaning is carried out incorrectly, it may potentially compromise people’s health and wellbeing and also potentially delay the recovery from Covid-19. On that basis, and for a number of other reasons, we need to put a framework in place that ensures staff are trained properly and provides a recognised apprenticeship process. 
“Additionally the recent Immigration Bill may in time result in it being harder for potential employees from overseas to enter the UK and work within our industry, especially if some people persist in the unfathomable belief that it’s okay for our tasks and jobs to be thought of as low-skilled. They are not. 
“Having an industry-agreed training accreditation and apprenticeship will demonstrate that ours is a skilled profession and help us in lobbying Government for changes where required. 
“The pandemic has also gone some way to changing the perception of our industry with much more recognition as to the value of our industry’s work. In that regard, the timing could not be better. “

The Apprenticeship Levy means that employers with an annual pay bill of more than £3 million put around 0.5% towards the levy. Alternatively, businesses can use these funds on recognised apprenticeship schemes.

In 2017, the IfATE turned down a proposal to develop an all-encompassing replacement for the Level 2 Cleaning and Support Services apprenticeship citing that the healthcare route was the only viable pathway to be developed. The employer Trailblazer group seek to challenge this decision. 

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All Party Parliamentary Group meeting hailed a ‘great success’ 28/06/2021

THE FIRST meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the UK Cleaning and Hygiene industry since its inauguration early this year has been hailed as a ‘great success’.

 Some of the most prominent figures from the sector briefed MPs and Peers in the session entitled ‘Cleaning and Hygiene’s Role in Restoring the Public’s Confidence Post-Covid in Using Work and Public Spaces.
The aim was to brief and introduce MPs and Peers to key industry issues and answer their questions. The public session was watched by industry guests, bringing the total number of participants to over 60.

The APPG has the support of a sizeable number of MPs from all the major political parties and members of The House of Lords. The group exists to promote the critical importance of the cleaning and hygiene industry to the people of the United Kingdom. The BCC acts in the role of secretariat and is organising a significant number of steering groups in seeking to carry out the industry’s clear, focused and much needed strategic aims.

BCC chairman Paul Thrupp (pictured) said: “The cleaning and hygiene industry came together with the aim of informing APPG members about the work of the sector and opening a dialogue with them. We are very pleased with how the meeting went, it was a great success.

“It has helped raise the profile of the sector among Parliamentarians and give them an idea of the importance of our work to the UK’s recovery from the virus.
“We were pleased to see a number of Parliamentarians in attendance. They were very interested in finding out more about the industry’s work and there were several questions.

“Attendees now know about and understand the cleaning and hygiene sector much better. Before the APPG was established, it was much harder for the sector to reach out to MPs in this way.  

“But the meeting was only a first step on the journey and there is a lot more to be done. There is a huge amount of preparatory work going on behind the scenes on key APPG priorities. When this work is complete, we will be able to put forward concrete proposals for the APPG to consider.”

Leading industry figures took part in the panel discussion on 20 April, including:

  • Deborah Bland, global marketing manager BSC and retail, Diversey
  • Delia Cannings, BCC director and national lead for education & training, the Association of Healthcare Cleaning Professionals (ahcp)
  • Dave Fuller, account director, Bunzl Cleaning & Hygiene
  • Dr John Hines, director of research and development at SC Johnson Professional
  • Darren Marston, executive chairman, Industrial Cleaning Equipment
  • Kim Phillips, BCC director and chair of the Association of Building Cleaning Direct Service Providers
  • Jim Melvin, deputy chairman of the British Cleaning Council, director Cleaning & Support Services Association (CSSA) and group CEO, Exclusive Contract Services
  • Jason Towse, MD People Services, Mitie.

The debate covered a number of topics including:

  • The importance of communication in restoring the public’s confidence post pandemic
  • The need for improved labelling so the public can differentiate between effective hand gels and those being produced by unscrupulous pop-up companies that don’t protect from pathogens
  • The need for the public to continue to behave responsibly with regards to personal hygiene and social distancing in order to reassure others that public buildings are safe to visit and to prevent future coronavirus spikes
  • How cleaning continues to be vital in preventing the spread of the virus, despite claims to the contrary
  • Key things learnt during the pandemic, such as the importance of the role played by the cleaning and hygiene sector and its workforce during the pandemic, and how they deserve to be fully recognised and thanked
  • The need for further education and training for cleaning and hygiene personnel
  • The role of innovation in developing products that enable the demand for higher standards of cleaning to be met.

The recording of the full discussion can be seen at: https://britishcleaningcouncil.org/2021/04/21/catch-up-with-the-latest-appg-meeting/

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Creating a generation of cleaners: Have attitudes changed post-COVID? 11/05/2021

AN INDEPENDENT survey to 359 UK respondents on the changing attitudes to cleaning pre- and post-COVID, reveals that 82% of respondents are more aware of how they clean since the pandemic began.

The world is still reeling from the impact of the coronavirus, leaving many of us wondering how everyday habits will change once lockdown restrictions ease and we can get back to some sense of normality. Whether it’s wearing face masks or washing your hands more regularly, the general public are now far more alert to cleanliness than they’ve ever been.

The survey, conducted by Harrison Wipes, reveals that 91% of people are more aware of cleaning measures put in place in public space, while 60% of workers have taken on extra cleaning responsibilities since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, 20% of new cleaning operatives have received little to no guidance from their employers on how to clean effectively.

It’s fair to say that for the majority of people, their general attitude toward cleaning will have changed over the last 12 months or so with increased funding for advertisements, warnings, and more visible discussion of the topic. The survey supports this notion, as according to the data, 82% of respondents have become more aware of how they clean since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

This demonstrates that more people (and by extension, businesses and organisations) than ever are thinking about why cleaning is important for them – not just as a hygiene habit, but as a proactive measure against risk. Interestingly, the data suggests that the method of cleaning is as important as the process. In other words, the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ are both given equal weight in the eyes of the general public.

This implies a level of product maturity amongst ‘everyday cleaners’. They may understand that not all products act in the same way or achieve the same effect; so having the right solution for the job is more vital than cleaning for cleaning’s sake.

Another point of note from the survey was how attitudes toward public hygiene have shifted throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Of the 359 people surveyed, 91% stated that they are more aware than ever of the cleaning measures taking place in public spaces – whether that be hand sanitiser stations or staff wiping down surfaces with disinfectant.

Furthermore, 75% of people indicated that they would feel more comfortable and confident that COVID-19 prevention measures were being enforced if they could see visible evidence of cleaning happening. Of course, this puts space operators (be they publicly or privately owned) into a position where they will need to maintain visibility of cleaning to ensure their customers feel safe. And it may be unreasonable to suggest that businesses take on more cleaning staff to cover this gap – meaning existing staff members must take on some cleaning responsibilities.

The research confirms this is exactly what businesses have had to do. Their survey found that 73% of those that work outside their home have taken on additional cleaning responsibilities in the workplace in one way or another. 57% of people have been entrusted with cleaning and sanitising their own workspace, 27% have been tasked with sanitising a shared workspace and 17% have been asked to sanitise an area where the general public may be. 

This data raises many issues, one of the most pressing is for the 17% of workers that are now responsible for being cleaning operatives in a public space. Specifically, whether these cleaners are given appropriate training to conduct effective, visible cleaning in these areas, and whether they are equipped with the right solutions and wipes for the job. 

Interestingly, 47% of respondents also said that they felt they had to supply themselves with additional cleaning products for their work environment. This means there is a degree of overlap between those being supplied with cleaning products from their employers and those that feel they need to bring it themselves. This might suggest that the standard of cleaning products being given to staff is not good enough to ensure protection or the level of confidence in the product is low. In either case, if businesses invest in the right product that offers significant value, they will circumvent these pitfalls and create a cleaner environment overall.

Furthermore, 20% of new cleaning operatives have received little to no guidance from their employers on how to clean effectively. This indicates that businesses and institutions are still not doing enough to protect those who fall under their duty of care. As discussed, this is one of the biggest barriers to protection we could face as we look to live in the wake of COVID-19. 

Stephen Harrison, managing director at Harrison Wipes reaffirmed his devotion to helping the public, businesses and organisations navigate these unprecedented times: “We’ve been working hard since the beginning of the pandemic to support the NHS, schools, factories, offices and everyone else in the fight against coronavirus.” 

He continued: “With the results from our survey it's clear although people are more aware of issues of cleanliness, the actual practice of cleaning and having the knowledge of which products best suit their situation is still not where it needs to be. We aim to be the link between that awareness and knowledge.” 

To read the full report visit: https://harrisonwipes.co.uk/creating-a-generation-of-cleaners 

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