The British Cleaning Council and members write monthly columns for both Cleaning and Maintenance and Tomorrow’s Cleaning magazines. You can read recent columns below.
Welcome to the Cleaning Show
By Jim Melvin, Chairman of the British Cleaning Council (BCC) (This article was first published in Tomorrow’s Cleaning in November)
I would like to wish attendees at this year’s Cleaning Show a truly warm welcome.
The cleaning and hygiene industry’s biggest and best trade show, which we co-produce with Quartz Business Media, is always a highlight of the calendar, but this year the excitement is of a different magnitude as this is the first physical Cleaning Show in more than two years.
It is fantastic to get the chance to attend the event in person and get together with colleagues face to face.
This is also an opportunity to celebrate the cleaning, hygiene and waste industry, and especially our workforce, after a truly difficult and tragic global period.
We are justifiably proud of how the sector’s staff stepped up during the Coronavirus pandemic and the bravery that was consistently demonstrated.
While personnel in other sectors could work from home during the lockdowns, cleaning and hygiene operatives went into work, putting themselves at risk to protect the health and well-being of others. Each and every one of us owes them a huge debt of thanks.
The show showcases innovations from the nation’s leading companies that will keep businesses, hospitals, schools and facilities safe as the UK recovers from the pandemic.
The free conference programme will allow attendees to hear from industry experts as they discuss the latest insights and technological developments, and consider the critical next steps for an industry that is on the frontline of public health and safety delivery.
I’ll be speaking there about the critical role of the industry’s new All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) in keeping cleaning and hygiene at the top of the political agenda.
Supported by just under 60 MPs, the APPG is dedicated to promoting the vital importance of the cleaning and hygiene industry and ensuring that, going forward, the sector’s voice will be heard at the highest levels.
It is vital that we maintain the APPG’s momentum and ensure its strategy results in demonstrable and tangible benefits for every member association and our fantastic teams.
Of course, the pandemic is a major theme of the conference programme with talks on the critical role of the cleaning industry post-pandemic and infection control in the workplace.
Another key theme is the role of technology in the future of cleaning. Sessions will look at how our industry now uses robotics and smart sensor technology and, separately, the rise of Co-Bots – robots designed to work with human staff.
Technology is also the theme of the session from our colleagues the Cleaning and Support Services Association (CSSA) and their Innovation Showcase.
Training is another key topic, with sessions from BCC Deputy Chair Delia Cannings on training opportunities, apprenticeships and funding while BCC member the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) will consider training and delivery styles for cleaning service providers.
Another key session will be the official launch of Chartered Practitioners in Environmental Cleaning by the Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners, an exciting scheme which will help bring recognition to the industry and individuals.
Other highlights include:
- The Cleaning and Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) focusing on the rise of unscrupulous traders in the sector in recent times.
- And the Federation of Window Cleaners (FWC) awards, which will see it hand prizes to the finalists of its national awards.
There are also useful sessions on sustainability, the Living Wage, which we are always keen to support, and insurance in the industry.
There’s plenty more to see in the show itself.
The CSSA Innovation Showcase will put the spotlight on the industry’s most innovative products, services and initiatives and is another highlight of the show.
The Window Cleaning World Cup and Guinness World Record Challenge returns.
And, for the first time, the show will feature a Window Cleaning and Carpet Cleaning Village, supported by the FWC.
My colleagues and I will be staffing the BCC stand. I hope to see you there.
Helping more people to #ChooseEnvironmentalHealth
By Alana Briggs, Network Manager, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) (This article was first published in Cleaning and Maintenance in November)
We have often found that students or career changers joining the profession first hear about environmental health as a career choice from a parent or relative, or someone they met through the course of their job. Whoever it was, it was invariably that person’s compelling enthusiasm for their job, its breadth and the positive impact that they can have on a daily basis that encouraged them to seriously consider environmental health.
There has never been a better time to think about a career in environmental health. Environmental health professionals have played a major role during the pandemic and the important work they do to protect people’s health, support businesses and safeguard communities, has finally started to be recognised.
There is also an urgent need for more environmental health professionals in local authorities and businesses across the country. Our recent Workforce Survey found that 56% of local authorities reported that they had vacancies in their environmental health teams that were left unfilled for six months or more. These figures will only be worsened by the effects of the UK’s exit from the EU and the ongoing response to COVID-19.
How you qualify as an Environmental Health Practitioner (EHP) has also had a recent refresh. Our new route to becoming Professionally Registered has now been launched and offers three categories with supporting pathways for each, depending upon your career aspirations: Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner, Registered Environmental Health Practitioner and Registered Food Safety Practitioner. We hope that these, along with the introduction of Level 6 apprenticeships in environmental health, will offer both employers and candidates flexible and practical routes into the profession.
With all these changes and the urgent need for more qualified EHPs, our ongoing campaign to encourage people to #ChooseEnvironmentalHealth is more important than ever! We want to encourage both members of CIEH and the wider profession to act as career ambassadors or simply champions of environmental health. If you have a connection with a school, college, or community group, perhaps you could get in touch with them and see if they have any opportunities for you to come in and share your experiences as an environmental health professional? They will likely welcome you with open arms!
Should you accept or create an opportunity to talk to a group, we can’t be there with you, but you won’t be on your own. We’ve created a suite of resources for you to use including videos, posters, flyers and even a PowerPoint presentation. These have all been designed with flexibility in mind so that you can use as many of them as suit your needs and personal style, because we know the most powerful thing we have, is our members enthusiasm for their vocation.
There is no standard format, no prescribed method, and no right or wrong answers – simply sharing your infectious passion for your profession is enough. We want to make people aware of, and excited about, a career in environmental health. As career choices go, there are few more that have a real impact on their community and environment. The only thing we ask is that you direct them to the careers section of our website, and then let us know how it went via our feedback form. Find out more at www.cieh.org/chooseEH