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British Cleaning Council Anticipates 2024 Apprenticeship Approval

British Cleaning Council Anticipates 2024 Apprenticeship Approval
06 July 2023

As the final proposals for a cleaning and hygiene apprenticeship are considered, the British Cleaning Council remains hopeful that the course can be launched in January 2024.

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) is considering an Apprenticeship-Levy funded Apprenticeship Standard for the cleaning and hygiene sector, expecting it to be approved later in 2023.

There is currently no apprenticeship scheme for the sector which provides training in the technical skills needed by cleaning and hygiene operatives working outside health care. This leaves many cleaning and hygiene sector employers with no suitable option for investing Apprenticeship Levy funds in training staff. 

The final submission for the funding band will happen on 5 July 2023, with a decision likely to be made by early autumn before the required ministerial sign-off.


“The industry is crying out for this apprenticeship, which will release millions of pounds for training staff, as well as helping in recruitment and tackling the misguided, ridiculously incorrect idea held in some quarters that our staff are low-skilled."

–Jim Melvin

Chair, British Cleaning Council


Third Attempt at Establishing an Apprentice Standard for the Cleaning Industry 


Establishing the apprenticeship is a crucial priority for the British Cleaning Council (BCC), though the process is taking longer than they expected. This is the third time the sector has submitted a bid for an Apprenticeship Standard covering the entire industry.

The new standard would help address the severe shortage of staff the sector currently faces by providing the first stage of a career ladder to attract new joiners and helping alleviate the damaging narrative that being a cleaner is a “low-skilled” job.

BCC Chair Jim Melvin said: “An industry as large as the cleaning and hygiene sector – which is one of the ten biggest in the UK – will benefit hugely from an Apprenticeship Standard teaching the technical skills needed by most cleaning and hygiene operatives working outside healthcare.

“Sector staff have a vital, frontline role keeping others safe, well and healthy and increasing the public’s hygienic confidence in the UK’s infrastructure and workplaces, so it is essential that they are trained and recognised as being of the correct standards.

“The industry is crying out for this apprenticeship, which will release millions of pounds for training staff, as well as helping in recruitment and tackling the misguided, ridiculously incorrect idea held in some quarters that our staff are low-skilled.

“We want the Cleaning Hygiene Operative Apprenticeship, and the funding for it, to be approved as soon as possible. We are aiming for a launch in January next year at the latest.”

Picture: a photograph of a cleaning operative in a retail space using a mop. Rails on clothing can also be seen. Image Credit: British Cleaning Council

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 06 July 2023


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