EFCI news - working with business towards digitalisation

14th of April 2020
EFCI news - working with business towards digitalisation

EFCI, the organisation representing the cleaning and facilities sector at European level, is working to assist businesses in the digital transition. It is doing this by following all developments at European level, and ensuring the views and needs of the industry are taken into account.

The digitalisation of our economy is happening at an increasing rate and the development of digital tools (software, sensors and robots, internet of things) have already modified the way cleaning companies operate and sell their services. Digitalisation is a high priority topic of the Von der Leyen’s European Commission, which nominated a vice-president (Margrethe Vestager) for the portfolio, A Europe Fit for the Digital Age. Consequently, the organisation of cleaning services and an increased development of digital skills will be in the spotlight.

The EFCI is working to accompany the industry in the digital transition, by following the policy developments at the European level and ensuring that the views and needs of the sector are taken into account. And also by providing the industry with the necessary tools to face the challenge of digitalisation. In this article, we will detail the various initiatives undertaken during the last year on this topic.

FEP report on the digital transition in France

The Fédération des Entreprises de Propreté (FEP), the French member of the EFCI, published in January 2019 a report entitled The Digital Transition in the Cleaning Industry in France. This report offers an overview and assesses the current digital trends in the industry, seeking to anticipate future evolutions in cleaning companies. The main findings of the documents are relevant to the industry at EU level. This is why the EFCI has translated the report into English and made it publicly available on the website at www.efci.eu

Joint statement on digitalisation with UNI Europa

On 29 October 2019 the European social partners – the EFCI and UNI Europa, the European services workers’ trade union – adopted a joint statement on the impact of digitalisation on employment in the cleaning sector. They acknowledged that a successfully-lead digital transition might become an opportunity to enhance professionalism and innovation in the industry, to the benefit of all its stakeholders.

By means of this joint statement, the EFCI and UNI Europa want to help the sector to prepare for the changes ahead and assist their members to create the necessary capacities to tackle the upcoming challenges.

The statement stresses the importance of the digital transition for the sector and the necessity to have a strong engagement from both employers and employees for a successful result. Indeed, both sides must work together for a transition that leads to increased productivity, higher quality of services, improvements in labour conditions and safety gains. The statement addresses the topics of data collection and use, work-life balance and narrowing the skills gap.

Primarily the statement stresses that “a successfully-lead digitalisation transition may become an opportunity to enhance professionalism and innovation in the industry, to the benefit of all its actors”.
Further, “social partners call upon the European Commission to support the development of a skills and training agenda for the cleaning industry including the validation and certification of the acquired skills”.

The joint statement on digitalisation is available via the EFCI website at www.efci.eu

The SK-Clean project

Supporting and recognising vocational education and training in the sector is one of EFCI’s main political priorities for the new European legislature. In this sense, the evaluation of the impact of increasingly required digital skills in the cleaning and facility services sector is necessary in order to better follow and anticipate the impact of digitalisation in this labour-intensive industry.

To respond to this need, the EFCI will conduct, during 2020 and the first half of 2021, an EU-funded project on digitalisation and skills entitled SK-Clean - Digitalisation in the Cleaning Sector: Supporting the Skills Transition for Cleaning Agents. The project will bring together the sector’s main training experts from across Europe. In the first stage, it will map the different training systems.

After that, experts will analyse how digitalisation is impacting the skills needed by cleaning operatives and which training systems or initiatives can best help the sector for a successful digital transition.

It will provide the sector with a guide to support employers and training bodies in the digital transition. The outcomes of the project will also help in raising awareness among policy makers and stakeholders on the relevance of vocational and educational training (VET) and a lifelong learning programme in the sector.

Digitalisation is changing the world of work and businesses must embrace it in order to remain competitive. The EFCI is committed to accompanying the sector in this transition so  cleaning and facility services companies can turn the challenges into an opportunity and the digital transition becomes a success story.


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