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Awards ceremony honours UK's best cleaners

Published 30th April, 2009 by Neil Nixon

Awards ceremony honours UK's best cleaners

The skills and talents of the UK’s best cleaners have been recognised at an awards ceremony in central London. The entrants took part in two cleaning competitions organised by Asset Skills, the Sector Skills Council for the cleaning industry. One contest was open to industry, the other took place within prisons.

The heats in the open contest took place last year. The award for best cleaner in the 2008 Team Clean Challenge went to Annette Giblin, from Rentokil Initial at BP Hull. The joint first prize for best cleaning team went TC Contractors and Rentokil-Initial. The event was held in 16 prisons earlier this year. The top award in this strand went to HMP Pentonville, London.

Everyone involved in the contest - entrants, judges, organisers and trainers - gathered at a venue in Westminster recently to see the trophies handed out. “The Team Clean Challenge has been extremely well received by employers and is growing in popularity,” said Richard Beamish, chief executive of Asset Skills. “It gives the industry a chance to showcase on a national stage how skilled and well trained its cleaners are. They form an essential workforce, ensuring we can all live and work in safe places without fear of disease. Events such as this help boost our efforts spreading this message.”
In the prisons’ sector, the competition highlights to inmates how cleaning can be a viable and worthwhile job to consider for the future while flagging to employers the quality training on offer within prisons for potential future workers. Representatives from each prison collected the award on behalf of each winning prisoner.

Teams were put through rigorous assessments of their practical responses to a set of scenarios. When deciding the winners the judges looked at social skills and project management.

The winners of the open competition were:
Joint Best Cleaning Teams: TC Contractors and Rentokil Initial, BP Hull.
Runner up team: MITIE Prime.
Best Cleaner: Annette Giblin, Rentokil Initial, BP Hull.
Best Supervisor: Dominic Stacey, TC Contractors.
Best Manager: Edward Green, OCS.
The winners of the prisons’ strand were:
Best Cleaning Team: HMP Pentonville.
Runner up team: HMP Winchester.
Best Cleaner: Brian Cunningham, HMP Highdown.
Best Supervisor: Terry Dixon, HMP Ashwell.
Best Manager: Angela Ward, HMP Foston Hall.
Best Youth Offending Institute Cleaners: Feltham.

The Team Clean Challenge is one of 22 skills contests running across a range of industries and overseen nationally by UK Skills. The winners of the first challenge represented the UK at EuroSkills last September, bringing home gold in several categories. Selection is now taking place until September for the next round of competitions. Asset Skills is looking for cleaning teams to go forward to represent the UK at EuroSkills Lisbon 2010 and WorldSkills London 2011.

To be eligible for EuroSkills you must be aged 25 or under in September 2010. For WorldSkills you must be 23 or under in September 2011. Entry is free and each team should include one supervisor and two cleaners.

Please email or phone 01604 233 336 with the name, date of birth, address, phone and email details of the cleaners who wish to be considered.

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