In Sweden, training is helping to professionalise the cleaning-services sector and raise its workers’ status
“The cleaning industry does important work, but conditions are often poor and training in this profession is missing,” says Bengt Gunnarsson, the project leader of the Konkurrenskraft project in Sweden. Led by the Städcentralen company and supported by 48 SMEs, Konkurrenskraft is fighting to professionalise the cleaning-services sector and its workers, through training and qualifications. Gunnarsson has worked in the industry for 28 years and sees major problems in the fact that many cleaners go to their jobs without having any formal education in the profession. So far, 250 cleaners and 50 supervisors have been trained and everyone wins, he explains: the workers get qualifications, the employer gets better workers, and the client a more professional supplier.