BCC and member columns in the news

The British Cleaning Council and members write monthly columns for both Cleaning and Maintenance and Tomorrow’s Cleaning. You can read recent columns below.

To read the columns as they originally appeared, please visit https://cleaningmag.com/columnists and https://www.tomorrowscleaning.com/back-issues

New research reveals much about our industry

By Delia Cannings, Chair of the British Cleaning Council. (This column first appeared in Tomorrow’s Cleaning magazine).

This year’s Manchester Cleaning Show was a huge success and, in my experience, the best to date.

I attended the March event over both days. I was privileged to open the show, deliver a few presentations and support the BCC stand.

It was noticeable just how busy the show was. The buzz was electric and the vibe was so positive. On the first day and into day two, there was a flood of visitors to the BCC stand, the conference area seating was full for much of the day, and I saw so many familiar faces as I walked through the exhibition. It was lovely to see friends and colleagues and make new connections.

In fact, registrations were 50 percent up on the 2022 Manchester edition, there were three times as many speakers with vast, varied current topics and exhibition space was booked up well in advance with new innovations featured widely.

It is wonderful to see the show return to full strength following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and I want to thank everyone involved.

One of the key moments was the launch of the BCC’s latest research report on the condition of the cleaning, hygiene, and waste industry.

Our annual industry research report takes a detailed, informative, and rigorous look at the industry and is full of revealing statistics and facts. It has become a key document for the sector, and we are happy to make it available to sector colleagues for free.

As always, the document highlights the essential role of the sector and its staff in keeping the nation’s workplaces, hospitals, educational establishments, transport facilities and public spaces safe, clean and pleasant to use, contributing to the nation’s health and wealth.

It also notes that the vital contribution of staff to infection prevention and control became more widely recognised during the Covid-19 pandemic, providing a platform for the continued fight for recognition for the sector.

The report shows that the sector remains one of the ten largest in the UK, though it has been impacted by the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic shock of Brexit and is still in recovery.

The economic value of the sector dipped following the start of the pandemic to recover to £59.8 billion in 2021, only a little more than pre-Covid levels. It must be noted that these are the most recent figures available when the report was compiled, so we must hope the sector has strengthened since.

The total number of employees in the industry is 1.47 million, making it one of the ten biggest in the UK.

The report highlights other positive developments and issues affecting the sector.

In particular, the launch of the Level 2 Cleaning Hygiene Operative Apprenticeship is a significant development for the sector which will enable millions of pounds of Apprenticeship Levy to be invested annually in staff training.

Our We Clean, We Care campaign also provides an opportunity for the industry to work together to raise its profile.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Cleaning and Hygiene Industry’s report Embedding Effective Hygiene For A Resilient UK is a key asset, the report says.

The industry continues to struggle with recruitment, the report says, and more needs to be done to attract younger workers due to the industry’s relatively ageing workforce.

The pandemic has left many of the current workforce mentally and physically exhausted, particularly those in healthcare, the report notes.

There has been minimal engagement on the part of the Government with the industry’s strategic priorities in areas other than the apprenticeship, it says.

For a free, digital copy of the report, please email compsec@britishcleaningcouncil.org

BACHE-FM celebrates its 20th anniversary

Adrian Owen, Chair of the British Association of Cleaning in Higher Education (BACHE-FM), celebrates the 20th anniversary of the founding of the association. (This column first appeared in Cleaning and Maintenance online).

The British Association of Cleaning in Higher Education (BACHE) was established in 2004.

Our members are cleaning operatives, supervisors and managers who between them are responsible for cleaning and servicing some 14.3 million square meters of property at universities and further education colleges.

Facilities is critical to the successful running of any organisation be it a factory, retail park or a university and, through BACHE-FM, we have a unique opportunity to connect with our colleagues working on cleaning and soft facilities in order to share best practice and strive towards continual improvement in our delivery models.

This anniversary is a milestone for BACHE-FM and we are looking forward to the next 20 years supporting our members, networking and sharing best practice.

I began my career in the cleaning sector with zero knowledge coming in from a financial background in 2012.

My first BACHE conference in 2013 was at Wolverhampton University and I was hooked. I am still in contact with many of the new friends in the industry I met at that conference.

I have been on the executive since around 2018 and, as the current chair, I continue to support the association that ignited my passion for facilities.

BACHE-FM has grown a lot in terms of members and also sponsors since its foundation.

When I got involved some ten years ago, there were maybe five or six sponsors at conference and it seemed to be the same faces every year. Now we boast up to 20 sponsors at conference every year.

Last year, the association changed its name to BACHE-FM and added the strapline ‘more than just cleaning’ to recognise that many of our members now manage a wider remit than just cleaning, which often includes soft services FM in their roles. However, cleaning is and will remain at the core of our values and in our hearts.

In the last year, we have built a strong executive and are working on our offering to members. We have been developing a pathways training plan for the professional career progression of members.

This year, we will celebrate our anniversary at our annual conference with the theme ‘The Big Birthday BACHE – here’s to the next 20 years’.

Our conference features an awards ceremony for cleaning and facilities operatives. The awards ceremony is, for me, one of the most important things we do at BACHE-FM because operatives rarely get recognised for their efforts.

They largely go unnoticed because they often finish their shift before the users of the building they are cleaning have even set off for work. To be able to invite them to the gala dinner and present them with an award for their hard work is amazing.

The conference is always the highlight of our year but watch this space because we will be launching a whole lot more over the coming years.

Industry showcase set to sparkle in Manchester

By British Cleaning Council Chair, Delia Cannings (This column first appeared in Tomorrow’s Cleaning magazine).

I’m thrilled to say that this year’s edition of the Cleaning Show is set to be the biggest in Manchester to date.

Exhibition space for this year’s event, at Manchester Central on 13 – 14 March, sold out weeks ago, so there will be even more than normal for attendees to see.

The Cleaning Show is one of the highlights of our industry’s calendar, bringing together thousands of cleaning and hygiene professionals to celebrate the importance, excellence and achievements of the sector, businesses and staff.

The British Cleaning Council is proud to be a co-producer of the Cleaning Show and it is fantastic that our sector can boast such a prestigious, successful and exciting annual industry showcase. All this, and it is free to attend, (after registering in advance).

I always enjoy catching up with familiar faces at the show, finding out about the latest products and innovations and gaining insight on industry issues from the sector’s leading figures during the conference programme. This year, the programme features over 20 expert speakers.

I am delighted to be a key speaker at the show and look forward to welcoming attendees with the opening keynote.

That will be followed by the launch of the eagerly anticipated 2024 BCC research report and an update on other key issues.

The report is essential reading for those in our sector. It will give the most up-to-date and detailed overview of the current condition of the cleaning, hygiene and waste industry and go into detail about different sub sectors, trends and issues.

Last year, it reported that the entire industry was worth £59bn, cementing its place as one of the ten biggest sectors in the UK. Read on to find out how to order a free copy.

On both days, I will also give a detailed briefing on the benefits for employers of the Level 2 Cleaning Hygiene Operative Apprenticeship and how to introduce it into the workplace. I have been closely involved in the development of the apprenticeship throughout.

If you represent a sector firm which would like to invest in your staff and provide them with the opportunity to gain a valuable qualification, this session should be unmissable.

I will also be involved in a talk on NHS cleaning standards during the show, drawing on my long-term involvement in the healthcare sector.

Other BCC members taking part in the conference include Lorcan Mekitarian, of the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA), with valuable advice on avoiding exaggerated or false marketing and product claims and our British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) colleagues, who are the authority on training issues.

Raymond Martin, of the British Toilet Association (BTA), will look at the role of the washroom in health and wellbeing, while Kelsey Hargreaves of BICSc will tackle recruitment and succession planning and will also join Paul Ashton, of the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA), to address challenges, opportunities and next steps in the sector.

Other panels and talks cover important topics including supervisors and cleaning operatives discussing the view from the frontline, environmental and social governance (ESG), sustainability, technology and modern slavery.

I hope you will visit our stand at the show, claim a free We Clean, We Care badge to wear with pride and sign up for your free, digital edition of the 2024 research report. Other BCC members with show stands include the CSSA, BICSc and the Federation of Window Cleaners (FWC).

Watch out for the FWC’s seminars during the show and do not miss the national window cleaning competition.

For more information and to register, visit https://cleaningshow.co.uk/manchester

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