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British Cleaning Council Releases 2022 Research Report

British Cleaning Council Releases 2022 Research Report
06 April 2022

The British Cleaning Council’s annual report gathers statistics on the cleaning, hygiene and waste sector – revealing that the industry as a whole remains one of the top ten biggest industries in the UK.

The number of sector businesses grew to 69,005 in 2021 and the number of employees working in the sector remained static at 1.47 million, according to the latest statistics available.

The number of people employed in the cleaning, hygiene and waste sector in 2021 was approximately five per cent of the UK workforce.

According to the latest information available, the industry contributed £58.9 billion to the UK economy in 2019, up from the previous year, showing that it went into the COVID-19 pandemic in robust health. All subsectors, apart from landscape service activities, saw year-on-year growth in turnover up to 2021.


Sector Turnover Increased by 22%


The report recorded that turnover in the sector increased by 22 per cent from 2015 to 2021, a similar figure to growth in the economy as a whole.

The number of sector businesses grew from nearly 66,420 in 2020 but ”included a number of opportunistic firms” which started up during the pandemic offering cleaning services, according to the BCC.

The body and its members have warned previously that consumers need to be wary of purchasing cleaning products and services from those looking to profit from public alarm about COVID-19. 


Job Vacancy Challenges


It also identified some challenges for the sector, including a record number of job vacancies. Employers in the cleaning sector need to adapt to a rapidly changing workforce if they are to win the “frantic battle” for workers, it said.

The research also shows an ageing workforce, with 27 per cent of the workforce aged over 55 years.

In terms of training, it also highlighted the “good headway” made with the proposal for a Cleaning Hygiene Operative apprenticeship. A repeated request across all areas of the industry is the need for basic, entry-level qualifications, the report noted.

BCC Chairman Jim Melvin said: “It is clear going into the pandemic that the industry was arguably in good shape in as much as it was growing and maintaining its position as one of the top ten biggest sectors in the UK and continuing to contribute a huge amount to the UK economy. 

“Clearly, we do not yet have the more recent figures which will show the full impact of the pandemic immediately and in the longer term. It also is possible that the decline in numbers directly employed by the industry in 2021 is the first sign of the current severe staffing problems, and next year’s report will give a clearer picture.

“The latest report is full of interesting and revealing facts and figures about the cleaning, hygiene and waste industry, which will be useful and interesting to anyone working in the sector. We will be pleased to be able to provide a free copy to industry colleagues, on request.”

For a free digital copy of the research report, visit the BCC stand at the Manchester Cleaning Show or email

Picture: a photograph of a person using a cleaning mop in the foyer of a public building.  Image Credit: Adobe Stock

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 06 April 2022


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