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Shortly before last week’s broadcast I received a press release from the British Cleaning Council expressing similar concerns as I have over recent months, regarding the potential damage Britain will face if we prevent overseas workers from taking up low-paid jobs such as cleaning, which we can’t seem to fill locally.
The BCC drew attention to research it published last year, showing that migrants – earning an average of £8.42/hour - make up 19% of the cleaning workforce. The research also predicted that 93,000 new cleaning jobs would be created by 2024. “Well you can’t get the staff these days” isn’t going to cut it if people become ill or suffer injury because of poor cleaning…
This isn’t the only industry to be worried. In my role writing for the kitchen, bathroom & bedroom industry, I received a statement from Damian Walters, CEO of The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation. Damien believes the policy has the potential for “adding enormous pressure to the industry” leading to "catastrophic consequences" and he’s urging Government to work with Trade Associations to better understand the "grass-root challenges" faced. He’s written to The Prime Minister expressing his concerns.
In his letter, Damian states that whilst the "majority of tradespeople in the UK are highly skilled" they may not themselves meet criteria set around formal qualifications, indicating that those overseas may not either. He says that there is not enough labour to deliver against the demand of both targets and need. This applies to the cleaning industry too, doesn’t it? And cleaners aren’t going to be paid the minimum set out by Government either, to earn their place here, are they?
Damian believes we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ensure immigration policy is launched from a solid, informed platform, and that Trade Associations can play an integral role in supporting the Government to achieve a balanced policy which accepts that hardworking people from across the globe don’t necessarily arrive with paper qualification, but perhaps do possess the skills required to fulfil the need.
I recall how difficult it used to be to recruit and retain good cleaners and the impact this had on hygiene and cleanliness everywhere. I do hope we can avoid a similar scenario in the future and that those in the industry whose businesses rely on foreign labour will do all they can to let the PM know that the whole thing needs a rethink – and fast.
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This Week's News
The British Cleaning Council has said it is 'very worried and concerned' about the 'huge' possible impact of Government proposals to introduce an 'Australian-style points-based' immigration system from 2021.
The BCC, which is the industry body for the cleaning sector, fears plans to restrict visas for lower-skilled, lower-paid overseas workers will cause serious labour shortages in the cleaning sector, which is one of the largest industries in the UK, worth £49.9bn and employing 914,000 people.
McCune Wright Arevalo filed a class action lawsuit against Ecolab on 20th February in the US District Court for the District of Minnesota on behalf of three plaintiffs, alleging they sustained personal injuries through use of its defective and unreasonably dangerous products - OxyCide Daily Disinfectant Cleaner and the OxyCide Dilution Management System.
The complaint seeks to represent a nationwide class of current or former hospital employees exposed to OxyCide cleaning products.
EFCI, the European cleaning and facility services industry, officially launched the 'SK-Clean: Digitalisation in the cleaning sector - Supporting the skills transition for cleaning agents' project, last Friday.
The project, which will last until August 2021 and is likely to have strong implications for EFCI members, is the first EU-funded project to be fully led and coordinated by EFCI.
UMF Corporation, a manufacturer of high performance, color-coded cleaning products, partnered with Baptist Easley Hospital, a member of Prisma Health, providing a comprehensive PCPLUS program in support of ensuring safe patient environments.
With PCPLUS, the world-class hospital was able to cut its monthly laundry management costs in half, support infection prevention, decrease environmental impact, and free up capital.
Medcorp, a distributor of healthcare related products based in Sao Paulo, was acquired at the end of January. It is principally engaged in the supply of a broad range of consumable medical products, particularly those used for dialysis and vascular access. Customers include leading private hospitals and clinics in Sao Paulo and redistributors elsewhere in Brazil. Revenue in the year ended 31st December 2019 was R$57m (c.£11 million).
As the company hits the milestone of its 120-year anniversary, OCS Group has announced the launch of 'Partnership Made Personal'. The new brand promise encompasses the Group's values and enshrines its commitment to work in partnership with customers to help them achieve their goals and improve the experience of their customers.
'Partnership Made Personal' is being launched alongside an exciting and modern brand refresh that will see a new look and feel, more reflective of its values and priorities, rolled out across the business.
While the concept of battery backpack vacuums is nothing new to the cleaning industry, the size and weight of these units have often made them less than accessible to some cleaning operatives. Until now!
Focusing on the core purpose of being portable and allowing cleaning without restriction, iVo has released a new backpack machine that is light weight, extremely powerful and quiet and which features an exceptionally long run time of up to one hour.
Canada-based Bast Fibre Technologies and Georgia-Pacific have entered into a global licensing agreement for a suite of patents related to the application of intact plant-based bast fibres in a variety of nonwoven products and processes.
Within the terms of the agreement, under licence from Georgia-Pacific, BFTi will develop, process and market the next generation of sustainable nonwoven fibres aiming to lead the industry in the transition away from synthetic materials toward all-natural, better performing solutions.
The cleaning market has changed dramatically over the last 10 years as end users require greater pressures and cleaning performance. With the cost of fossil fuels escalating out of control, the demands have moved towards economical power systems that still provide the cleaning performance.
Demon has looked at these problems and towards the future and has now developed a revolutionary concept in the Demon Electron Mini-Bowser.
Trash Can Cleaning USA, said to be the largest bin cleaning service in the US, is launching a new program for municipalities. The service cleans residential and business rubbish containers and recycling bins using a specially designed truck.
Previously, customers could order cleaning on-demand or on a subscription basis. Now, entire cities can make the service available to all residents, offering a solution to potentially serious urban hygiene problems.
Hospitality Expo is aimed at procurement managers, general managers and housekeepers from hotels across the country and is free. It will take place at the Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire, on 26th and 27th April 2020.
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