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Cleaning companies 'more positive'

Published 27th July, 2010 by Neil Nixon

Cleaning companies 'more positive'

Cleaning companies are performing better than they were this time last year, according to new research which monitors the views and performance of employers. The Asset Skills Barometer Survey questioned a total of 94 employers about skills and other issues as part of a rolling six monthly programme.

“The Barometer Survey is a rolling programme that aims to chart the link between skills investment and productivity,” said Richard Beamish, chief executive of Asset Skills, the Sector Skills Council for cleaning. “It is a valuable piece of industry research that helps us determine trends in skills training and gives the cleaning industry solid data, facts and figures from which they can draw.”

Cleaning employers were positive about many areas of their business, in particular how effectively they felt they were performing and the current levels of staff morale - both of which were reported to have improved compared with six months ago and this time last year. However, employers also noted that running and recruitment costs had risen.

According to the survey, 18% of companies claim they invested more time in training over the last year, with the same proportion claiming to have invested more money. Evidence suggests that further training may be needed in future - 27% of employers said they planned to move into new areas of activity in the next year and 36% claimed that current staff did not have the skills required to undertake the new activities that they would need.

Despite the rise in staff morale that was reported in the last six months, employers still highlighted issues around staff as one of their most pressing concerns. Motivating employees, attracting skilled staff into the sector and retaining experienced members of the workforce were highlighted as some of the challenges that companies were currently dealing with.

While the economy was not cited as a challenge by employers as frequently as it was six months ago, it remained a concern. A large proportion of firms (78%) said they planned to expand over the next three years, and a number of employers noted that the economy could potentially restrict their ability to do this.
A fifth of respondents felt that the skills levels of recruits has increased over the last six months, with 61% reporting that new employees are either fully equipped or have most of the skills that they require for the job. However, 17% of employers felt that new staff had none or few of the skills that they needed.

The latest Barometer Survey is available to view at

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