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An increasing number of people are now working as a cleaner in the UK, with the sector contributing approximately £50 billion a year to the national economy and employing approximately 900,000 people. Cleaner employers can be found in many different industries, including office cleaning, industrial cleaning and home cleaning.
Cleaner jobs are becoming more appealing because of the freedom the position offers in terms of working environment, working hours and there being no need for formal qualifications or training. In particular, the UK home cleaning industry in particular continues to grow, with an estimated one in four homes now employing a cleaner.
Cleaner jobs can be found in a variety of sectors, with such positions now providing much more benefits than in the past. Daily cleaning duties will depend largely on what sector you want to work in, with cleaner employers operating in most UK business sectors. Working environments for cleaners can include private homes, offices and manufacturing facilities.
Common duties for those working as a cleaner include general dusting and hoovering, maintaining stock levels and basic maintenance of cleaning equipment. Other possible environments for those working as a cleaner include automobiles and crime scenes, as well as premises damaged by fire or flooding. Some cleaner jobs may at times require the use of harmful chemicals, as well as equipment such as ladders. As such, Health & Safety guidelines must be followed in the majority of cleaner jobs.
For most cleaner jobs in the UK, there are no qualification or experience requirements. Whilst some cleaner jobs may require applicants to have some GCSEs, such as English ad Maths, most do not. The majority of UK cleaner employers provide on-the-job training. There are a few skills that can be considered essential for people working as a cleaner, including good customer service skills, an attention to detail and taking pride in your work.
These skill sets are highly valued by cleaner employers. Other desirable skills include the ability to work on your own, patience and being able to work well under pressure. Whilst previous experience or qualifications are often not required, an increasing number of cleaner employers now require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. This check enables cleaner employers to see whether an applicant has a criminal record and is particularly important for cleaner jobs in environments such as schools, nurseries, prisons and hospitals.
There can be very good prospects for people working as a cleaner. Basic promotions for cleaners include becoming a supervisor of colleagues with less experience as well as a manager of both cleaners and supervisors. Other career prospects for cleaners include moving into management/administration roles, as well as establishing your own cleaning business.
As with many positions, your prospects will depend largely on your own abilities and strengths, with people skills particularly important for those wishing to advance their career in cleaning. Other useful skills for cleaner jobs include learning about how and where dirt forms, knowing about the different cleaning products available and how these products should be used and where.
There are many pros and cons to working as a cleaner. Firstly, the industry continues to grow, providing an increasing number of cleaner jobs in the UK. As such, experienced cleaners can often choose where and when they want to work, as well as benefit from long-term job stability. Increasing wages, improved job conditions and great flexibility in terms of working hours means that more and more people are now working as a cleaner.
However, like all positions, there are of course some cons to working as a cleaner. Disadvantages associated with cleaner jobs include low starting salaries, the need to perform repetitive tasks and working in sometimes dirty environments.