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Russian cleaners in higher education22nd of May 2015
A degree programme has been launched for cleaners by a Russian university, reports Oleg Popov.
The Russian cleaning industry is relatively young. During recent years specialists from different fields have entered the cleaning market and gradually gained all the basics of the cleaning trade while practising. It took time for different courses and seminars to become available and bring with them European cleaning expertise. The unquenchable hunger for skilled personnel has forced companies to initiate their own training while developing a methodical approach to teaching what the company needs.
Until recently, in Moscow, the state-issued diploma confirming the secondary level of vocational training within cleaning was the highest level of education possible. Now however, graduates of that programme can continue their studies to obtain a bachelor’s degree level diploma at the Russian New University (RosNOU).
Different curriculums will require between three and five years of study. Much attention will be dedicated to ecological safety and energy resource-preserving technologies. Students will also be offered the opportunity to work abroad - Germany, Estonia and Holland.
The first degree programme within the cleaning industry is, without a doubt, a positive trend in the market. Our hope is that educated cleaners will shift the status of the cleaning industry professional for the better, and educated personnel will move the entire industry to a new level.
Along with the positive changes, there is also growing suspicion that graduates may never return to cleaning companies. Graduates will more than likely seek employment working for five-star hotels or in administrative departments of large companies. In those places they will find use for their new-found skills and be in high demand. True enough, it is not attractive to spend five years on one’s education only to then become a project manager within a cleaning company.
In six months one can gain a level of expertise enough to manage a project, and then some skills on top. Of course academic knowledge is needed, but it provides no practical application or experience to solve problems. Theoretical knowledge and practical experience must work together.
Cleaning is, first of all, customer service, and only then it becomes technology. It is important to be capable of satisfying every need of the customer 24/7. This sort of knowledge can be learned in any hotel in the US or Europe in just three months. Cheap, practical and reliable.
Speaking of compensating the cost of education, this programme appears to have appeared at the wrong time. Crisis is not expected to affect prestigious educational establishments where the students are sure the finances and time invested in their education will not be lost and results will compensate for the expense they have incurred. After all, who will pay for education in the industry if this education is not expected to swiftly increase the student’s income?
Nevertheless, one must endure this stage of our professional education. I am sure, in the very near future, we will see saturated, succinct and practically oriented programmes that will last from six months to two years. Moreover, students will be able to enter the cleaning field in the shortest possible time. They will get knowledge of the trade and not lose the desire to develop within the industry. They will also, most importantly, begin to see the realisation of their career-