The cleaning industry contributes over £24 billion to the UK economy according to the latest figures released by the British Cleaning Council.
The report complied for the BCC by market research company, Firedog Research, shows that in addition to being a huge net contributor to the UK economy, the cleaning industry is also one of its biggest employers, with over 700,000 people.
Looking at the very latest figures from 2015, the report also highlights that wage growth in the sector is higher than the national average, with a growth of 6.4% compared to a national average of 2.3%.
As the cleaning industry prepares to meet for its bi-annual Cleaning Show at London’s Excel Arena, there’s further encouraging statistics from the report showing that turnover has increased by 21% since the recession of 2010, greater than all economy growth in which turnover increased by just 17%.
There’s good news also for small business start-ups in the cleaning industry. The number of new businesses increased by 12% from 4,380 to 4,910 between 2014 and 2015. The average rate of growth in all other sectors for new business start-ups was just 9%.
During the same period the number of businesses that ceased trading rose from 3,600 to 3,725 between 2014 and 2015: an increase of 3% but this was much lower than UK average of 9.4%.
Growth in the industry is expected to continue. It is expected that there will be employment growth across higher level occupations. The industry is expected to have 467,000 job openings between 2014 and 2024: 84,000 industry growth and 383,000 replacement demand.
The survey also shows that the number of foreign born people working in the industry is larger than the national average at 23% compared to a UK average of 17%.
Workers across the cleaning industry are more likely to hold lower levels of qualifications than other sectors. A third of the workforce do not hold a level 2 compared to just 13% across the economy.
However, the latest Working Future Projections shows that there will be a shift towards more people holding higher qualifications. By 2024, 50% of people employed in the industry are expected to be qualified at level 4 and above, whilst the proportion of people with no formal qualifications is expected to fall to 4%.
British Cleaning Council Chairman, Simon Hollingbery, said: “The BCC is very proud that it is able to carry out this important research on behalf of the industry. It gives us a good benchmark of where we are, and it will help businesses plan for the future. There’s very encouraging signs in the turnover and growth figures, and we need to keep working hard to make sure people in the industry get those higher qualifications. Overall I’m very pleased with the report, and we can go into the Cleaning Show with renewed optimism for the future.”