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National Apprenticeship Week – How BICSc is supporting the development of an apprenticeship for the cleaning industry

National Apprenticeship Week takes place this week from the 6-10 March, bringing together employers and apprentices from across the UK to celebrate the success of apprenticeships over the last decade.

The British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) has supported the scheme for many years, employing apprentices in a range of positions across the organisation. BICSc Group CEO, Stan Atkins who started his career as an apprentice, is a firm supporter and believes apprenticeships can offer life-changing opportunities for young people no matter what industry they decide to go into.

In October 2016 BICSc took its support one step further and was invited to join a new apprenticeship government Trailblazer group for the cleaning industry, with Dr Sally Messenger as the BICSc representative. The group is chaired by Lorraine Larman from LCC Support Services and in the past six months has included representation from across the industry including Barchester, Carillion, Churchill Services, Doncaster Council and Interserve.

The group is initially focusing on the development of a new employer-led apprenticeship standard for a Cleaning Hygiene Operative. In the future, the new standard will be available as part of a critical stage in the development of the standard, where BICSc will be supporting the industry consultation phase.

The introduction of the new Cleaning Apprenticeship will mark a significant change for the development of the cleaning industry. Dr Sally Messenger said “the new apprenticeship offers a unique opportunity for employers to set the agenda for driving quality in the service they provide customers and ensuring their workforce is world class. Training and assessment is an area BICSc has been working in for more than 60 years, and it looks forward to embracing the opportunity to support the industry as it engages with the new apprenticeship.”

To support apprentices in the cleaning sector BICSc will be launching a new student membership grade for students and apprentices who are currently completing a recognised study in a cleaning related field. The membership will be free for the first year for apprentices giving individuals access to valuable support, events and industry expertise to help advance their career. The membership will be available from 1 April 2017.

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