Cleaning Industry Training Standards will benefit industry
An appalling training uptake level within New Zealand’s $1 billion commercial cleaning industry has prompted CrestClean to advocate for the introduction of a Cleaning Industry Training Standard (CITS).
According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s 2008 Labour Market Statistics there are approximately 30,000 commercial cleaners in New Zealand – yet there is no recognised or formal level of training standards.
A CITS would be designed to increase professionalism and demonstrate a commitment to effective training.
“We believe a CITS would lift the standards of the cleaning industry leading to greater economic productivity, but equally important, provide a sea change in the attitudes and behaviours of cleaners as training provides them with greater skills and opportunities,” Managing Director Grant McLauchlan says.
The programmes would focus on training and certifying frontline cleaning professionals, verifying training programmes and training facilities to a set industry standard, and improving the skills of industry trainers through a comprehensive workshop.
In 2014, 219 people successfully gained an NZQA qualification for undertaking a commercial cleaning job, including following basic levels of infection control precautions. In addition to this, CrestClean put 214 people through its accredited programme, representing 50 per cent of all certification of commercial cleaners in New Zealand.
The lack of standards results in loss of productivity as businesses, schools and workplaces face increased absenteeism as people suffer illnesses as a result of poor hygiene practices that can be traced back to the lack of training their cleaners have. The annual flu season compounds this, costing the country indirect and measurable health costs.
A CITS programme would have the following benefits:
• For employers it would professionalise the cleaning industry particularly where qualifications are lacking.
• Would allow companies to grow as employees become more skilled and productive.
• Provide employees with a sense of pride as they gain new industry-recognised skills and increase opportunities for career advancement.
• Maps out the skills and training required for entry into the cleaning industry and progression within the industry.
• Aims to equip cleaning professionals with the skills needed to perform basic cleaning activities leading to increased wage rates.
• Provide the benchmark against which the industry can be measured by its customers leading to a more positive view of cleaners/ability to provide a quality service.
• Enhances the employability and competitiveness of the cleaning industry in New Zealand to meet the needs of the country’s economy.
With the Health and Safety Reform Bill introducing changes to New Zealand workplaces, the introduction of a CITS provides alignment with the Government’s intentions to improve health and safety in the workplace.