Ofsted needs to clean up its attitude, BCC says

Ofsted’s claims that cleaning should not be offered as part of an apprenticeship have been dismissed by the British Cleaning Council (BCC).

Ofsted chief Michael Wilshaw says ‘low level skills’ are potentially devaluing the apprenticeship brand, but BCC has reacted angrily to the term, pointing out that the industry contributes more than £8 billion to the UK economy annually.

Stan Atkins, deputy chair of BCC said: “It is imperative the cleaning industry has recognised apprenticeships such as window and facade cleaning, and we need to make sure young people learn technical skills. Some skills can be covered using on-the-job training, others, however, require learning and the application of that knowledge.”

The BCC says cleaners’ jobs have ‘changed enormously over the last few years’ and require a wide set of skills, in addition to offering supervisory and management opportunities.

Backing the stance, Chris James, CEO of the Waste Management Industry Training and Advisory Board (Wamitab), said: “A narrow stigmatized view of cleaning or cleaning apprenticeships is a reflection of the paucity of understanding purveyed by the authors, rather than the reality of environmental, conservation and enhancement that is cleaning today.”

Palmers recognises not only the many success stories within the industry but also its huge contribution to the economy. We are experienced in supporting firms through a range of commercial issues. For more information about our expert advice, please contact BJ Chong.