Final proposals for an Apprenticeship Levy funded industrywide Apprenticeship for the cleaning and hygiene sector have been submitted to the approving body.
It is hoped that the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (iATE) will give the final agreement and confirmation for the Apprenticeship Standard and End Point Assessment within a couple of months although there is no fixed timeline at the moment.
IATE will first hold further discussions about key points with the industry trailblazer group that drew up the proposals, before a final consultation is held.
The Apprenticeship promises to bring huge benefits to the cleaning and hygiene industry and many sector businesses and organisations have supported and backed the proposals.
The British Cleaning Council (BCC) first began this latest move to set up an Apprenticeship Standard towards the end of 2021.
The process is proving to be much lengthier than hoped, but these proposals have progressed much further than any of the previous attempts to set up a much-needed industrywide Apprenticeship.
There is currently no Apprenticeship scheme for the sector which provides the training in the technical skills needed by cleaning and hygiene operatives working outside healthcare.
This leaves many sector employers with no suitable option for investing Apprenticeship Levy funds on training staff.
All employers with an annual pay bill of more than £3 million put around 0.5% towards the Apprenticeship Levy.
Therefore, every year, millions of pounds of levy funding paid by cleaning and hygiene businesses is lost because there is no suitable training programme to invest all of the money in.
BCC Chairman Jim Melvin said: “The industry has been crying out for this Apprenticeship, and I hope it is given the go-ahead soon.
“It will be hugely beneficial for the industry, making available highly significant and substantial funds from inside our industry, for staff training and helping to redress the completely inaccurate idea that industry staff are ‘low skilled’.”