Are you ready for a dragon fight?

17th of December 2019
Are you ready for a dragon fight?

From Germany, Katja Scholz reports on an initiative designed to attract young talent to cleaning.

The National Association of Contract Cleaners (BIV) is faced with a highly competitive market in trying to attract young trainees to the profession. “We would specifically like to target young people and give them an understanding of the contract cleaning business. With this in mind, we need to reach out to them where they feel most at home”, explains Christopher Lück, BIV director of policy and communication. “And today this clearly means primarily on social networks such as Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.”

In competing for the skilled workers of tomorrow, the BIV is quite literally taking up the “fight” for young trainees which is currently prevailing on the employment market. It has produced a social media clip with the revealing title “Are you ready for a dragon fight?” and uses it to demonstrate how important it is for the contract cleaning sector to focus on interested young people at the earliest opportunity.

The setting for the social media clip is an adventure playground in Germany’s capital city Berlin.  Those watching see smoke rising, water spraying, heavy equipment and young people in protective clothing. They are engaged in cleaning a dragon sculpture made of various materials ranging from stone and tiles to papier mâché – with teamwork and a lot of energy and enthusiasm.

“The dragon sculpture in the Berlin-Wilmersdorf playground has been created by an anonymous artist. This seemed to us to be the perfect object for demonstrating the multi-faceted challenges which contract cleaners of the future will encounter in their profession, because the materials to be cleaned and the range of equipment and techniques are as varied as the profession itself,” explains Lück.

Trainees who would like to experience constantly changing workplaces such as glass facades of buildings, exhibition spaces in museums, spectator seating areas in stadiums or the demanding environment of operating theatres will gain comprehensive knowledge of the type and nature of buildings, building components and surfaces in addition to chemical relationships and materials.  They will also learn how to use various types of machinery and techniques and how to carry out sustainable cleaning processes.

“Sensors, automation and co-robotics will also play a greater role in future – which makes the sector attractive to the tech-savvy target groups.”

Training in the skilled trade with the largest workforce in Germany – the contract cleaning sector – gives access to a multi-faceted and varied working environment but also excellent future prospects with good earning potential. Following completion of their initial training, skilled workers of the future will have numerous opportunities for further training, for example as a Master Craftsman or to study for a degree in cleaning and hygiene management/technology.

Potential earnings in the sector are also equally attractive at the moment: standard wages have been increasing for years, along with payment rates for trainees: apprentices throughout the country in their third year of training will receive €1,050 per month from the beginning of next year.   The starting salary for those who have completed their apprenticeship varies from state to state but can often exceed €2,500.

But back to the dragon fight in the Berlin adventure playground: “The video has been online since September and can be seen on all social media platforms. The first reactions have been positive and show we are reaching the future trainees and upcoming skilled workers of tomorrow”, concluded Christopher Lück.


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