BCC research shows cleaning industry 'in recovery' after pandemic

22nd of March 2024
BCC research shows cleaning industry 'in recovery' after pandemic

New research published by the British Cleaning Council (BCC) shows how the cleaning, hygiene and waste sector is ‘in recovery' after the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The latest figures, published last week, show the industry contributes nearly £59.8 billion (€69.95 billion) to the economy, after a dip following the start of the pandemic. It remains one of the 10 biggest sectors in the UK.

There are a number of positive developments for the industry to build on including the launch of the Level 2 Cleaning Hygiene Operative Apprenticeship and increased recognition for the sector post-pandemic, the report highlights.

What remains challenging, however is the perfect storm of severe staff shortages' and an ageing workforce. The cleaning industry continues to struggle to replace staff who have left the sector in the wake of the pandemic and Brexit, with other staff having moved to new roles. There are a record number of job vacancies across the UK in a wide variety of industries.

Figures quoted in the document show the entire sector was worth £58.9 billion (€68.89 billion) in 2019, but this dipped to £57 billion (€66.67 billion) in 2020 before increasing again in 2021. All subsectors, bar landscape service activities, saw growth in turnover in 2021 after a dip the previous year.

If occupations involved in cleaning across other industries such as public services and hospitality are included, the total number of individuals working in the industry is 1.47 million. This equates to approximately five per cent of the UK workforce.

The sector continues to grow, with a reported 75,565 businesses operating in 2023, up from 73,655 businesses operating in 2022, most of which are micro-businesses.

Free, digital copies of the BCC's 2024 research report are available by emailing: compsec@britishcleaningcouncil.org



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