Chequers Contract Services prides itself on keeping schemes and properties for housing associations, offices, schools and other buildings spick and span but is now celebrating cleaning up in the recent Croydon Business Awards. The company, based in Croydon, walked away with three prizes - business of the year, best business for training and development, and best business for apprenticeships and employment of young people in the awards which were announced at a gala dinner held at Fairfield Halls in Croydon.
Combining the qualities of a family business with a close partnership with staff and clients is the root of its success, and equally important has been its decision to commit to creating jobs for young people and bringing out the best in its 650-strong workforce.
Kate Ward, sales and marketing director, said: "Our celebrations could not have been achieved if it wasn't for the great partnerships we have forged with our clients, business partners and suppliers, all of whom are instrumental to the success of our business. This is supported by the hard work, dedication and commitment of our staff who, which goes without saying, are our greatest asset."
Apprenticeships have always played a part in the development of the company and at present Chequers has 14 on board, all with the prospect of a full-time job at the end of their training period. Ward continued: "Our apprenticeship scheme is just one example of how we are embracing the opportunity to build our future success. This commitment is further reflected by our programme of developing staff skills. It is imperative you invest in your staff and, as your greatest asset, their personal development is an absolute must."
To help with that development, the company opened its cleaning industry-backed training centre in its head office last year. The £60,000 centre includes a kitchen, bathroom and office suite, which are used as models to help staff learn the correct cleaning procedures. Chequers' aim is to get all staff trained and officially licensed with the British Institute of Cleaning Science. Working in partnership with its client One Housing Group, Chequers opened a second BICSc training centre at Arlington House in Camden in February this year.
Photo shows, from left to right: Ricky Cunningham (young apprentice), Daniel Smith (young apprentice), Fabien Mathurin (young apprentice), Paul Jeal, Kate Ward, Gary Jeal, and Anton Heal (young apprentice).