representing building managment, cleaning and security staff

Construction & Property Services Industry Skills Council (CPSISC)

Cleaning Services

Cleaning services sectors employ a significant number of Australians providing services for residential and commercial requirements nationally.  Revenue for the 2013-14 year is expected to sit at around $4.3 billion. The most recent ABS Census recorded 115,062 people in commercial cleaning (63 per cent part time) with another 15,880 in domestic cleaning (79 per cent part time) with additional significant numbers of people working as house keepers. The cleaning sectors rely on large number of part time and casual employee with much work especially in commercial cleaning taking place out of business hours.  Low pay and high turnover of staff remain a problem for people engaged in the sectors and there are many in the industry who enter due to low barriers to entry.

Lack of training is an issue for the industry with general perceptions of a low skill requirement to undertake the work. Funding of cleaning qualifications have declined due to restricted places and funding at the state level. As with some other property services sectors, the training is vital to ensuring that a business is able to maintain productivity levels for people to retain their employment. There are others who utilised training to be able to enter the cleaning industry. Where a job has been maintained or gained there is a flow on to the business and a reduction in the reliance on the social services which has a positive knock on effect for the economy.

Low margins, intensive price-based competition and potential for contracts to be lost in a low growth economy is further reducing the capacity of employers and contractors in the industry to train.

Continued activity in non-dwelling and multi residential will be expected to drive demand for cleaning services.  Outsourcing of cleaning services in government and business contracts is likely to translate into further demand for services.

Demand for domestic housekeeping is likely to increase with double income families seeing the benefit of cleaning and housekeeping services. Interest from the ageing population for cleaning services is likely to increase where a small weekly cost provides a range of house services that allow those people to remain in the community for longer periods. Businesses training and catering for this demographic will be providing a significant saving for the economy whereby people remain in the community rather than going into supported care.

Bundling of cleaning services for full residential or commercial asset maintenance and support will condense the number of businesses in the future, which is more likely to be in the commercial cleaning sector. Although housekeeping and residential cleaning is likely to remain a small business employer into the future, the efficiencies of having one company, one billing and bundling discounts is likely to grow. Franchise and licensing arrangements are likely to grow at the same rate.

Forecasts – The industry is projected to generate revenue of $4.3 billion in 2013-14, up 2.3% for the year and with annualised growth of 2.8% over the past five years. This growth has been due to stronger economic and non-residential construction growth. The industry is forecast to continue to grow steadily over the next five years, with revenue rising at an annualised 1.5% to $4.7 billion in 2018-19. This growth is lower than in the previous five years as the industry continues to mature and high competition limits pricing growth. However, a pickup in demand for cleaning services for offices is expected to result from renewed service-industry employee growth.

Further information can be found in the Environmental Scan 2014-15.