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Transforming the UK Cleaning Industry: The Power of the New Cleaning Hygiene Operative Apprenticeship

As we step into January 2024, the UK cleaning industry stands on the cusp of a significant transformation. The launch of the all-new Cleaning Hygiene Operative apprenticeship by GLP Training, a leading national apprenticeship training provider, marks a pivotal moment not just for those directly involved in the sector but for the broader UK economy as well.

A cleaning hygiene operative apprentice during work


The Economic Impact of the Cleaning Industry


It’s essential to recognise the substantial contribution of the cleaning industry to the UK's economy. With an impressive £55.5 billion contribution and employing around 1.4 million people (BCC, 2021), the sector is a critical component of the nation's economic fabric. However, the industry faces significant challenges, particularly in terms of employee turnover and retention.


A report by Donati in 2023 highlighted the ongoing issue of high turnover rates, which average 75% annually (Winns 2022). This alarming statistic not only underscores a persistent problem within the sector but also signals a broader issue of workforce stability that can impact economic growth and efficiency.

The Cleaning Hygiene Operative Apprenticeship as a Solution


The Cleaning Hygiene Operative apprenticeship is set to be a game-changer in this context. By offering structured progression routes, this initiative redefines a career in cleaning from being perceived as 'just a job' to a profession with clear growth and advancement opportunities. This shift is crucial in altering the industry's landscape for several reasons:


Improved Employee Retention: With career progression opportunities, employees are more likely to stay and grow within their roles. This stability is beneficial for employers, reducing the costs and disruptions associated with high staff turnover.


Economic Benefits: A more stable workforce within the cleaning industry means enhanced productivity and efficiency. This stability contributes positively to the broader economy, as

the sector plays a vital role in various industries and businesses.


Professional Development: The apprenticeship provides a structured path for professional growth, equipping workers with essential skills and knowledge. This leads to a more skilled and competent workforce, raising the overall standard of the industry.


Changing Perceptions: By elevating the status of cleaning jobs to respected careers, the apprenticeship combats stereotypes and stigma associated with the sector. This change in perception can attract more talent and diversify the workforce.


Creating a Conveyor Belt of Talent


The metaphor of a conveyor belt aptly describes the potential impact of the Cleaning Hygiene Operative apprenticeship. By continuously developing and nurturing talent, the program creates a steady supply of well-trained, motivated cleaning staff. These individuals are prepared not just to fill roles but to progress through the ranks, potentially taking on leadership and specialised positions in the future.


This approach benefits both the employees, who gain a sense of purpose and direction in their careers, and the employers, who cultivate a loyal and skilled workforce. Moreover, it fosters a culture of learning and development within the industry, encouraging continuous improvement and adaptation.


The Role of GLP Training


As a national apprenticeship training provider, GLP Training is at the forefront of this transformative initiative. Our role extends beyond merely providing training; we aim to be partners in progress for both the apprentices and the businesses involved. Our approach is holistic, focusing on the development of both technical skills and soft skills essential for career advancement.


Conclusion: A Bright Future Ahead


The launch of the Cleaning Hygiene Operative apprenticeship is more than just the introduction of a new training program. It represents a fundamental shift in how we perceive and value the cleaning industry in the UK. By addressing critical issues like employee turnover and career progression, this initiative promises to strengthen not only the sector but also contribute positively to the UK economy.


As we move forward into 2024, the cleaning industry stands ready to shed its old skin and emerge as a vibrant, dynamic sector offering rewarding careers and stability. The Cleaning Hygiene Operative apprenticeship is a beacon of this change, signalling a brighter future for everyone involved in this vital industry.

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