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Sub-sectors


Cleaning industry

The cleaning industry covers all forms of contract cleaning including: building interiors; transport vehicles; food premises; window and facade cleaning; highways and land; plus carpets and upholstery.

Key facts:

  • The UK market for contract cleaning is estimated to be £5.6 billion.
  • There are around 448,400 people working in the industry in just over 32,000 companies.
  • Migrant workers make up 37% of the English cleaning workforce.
  • 86% of all cleaning companies have 10 or less employees.
  • 1% of companies have 200 plus employees and provide work for approximately half of all cleaning employees.
  • 70% of the workforce has attained a below NVQ Level 2 qualification, 13% NVQ level 2 and 17% NVQ level 3 and above.

Workforce statistics

Age: 13% of the workforce is aged 16-24 years

19% 25-34 years

25% 35-44 years

21% 45-54 years

22% 55 years and over

18% of the workforce report having a disability.

The demand for cleaning is perceived as being less subject to the economic downturn than other sectors as cleaning remains a necessity. The contract cleaning industry is thriving, but remains competitive, with an estimated turnover of around £5.6 billion annually. In addition to this, there are many public and private sector organisations that employ their own cleaning staff in-house.

The cleaning industry continues to suffer from image, recruitment and retention problems. Employers have welcomed migrant workers, who now make up 37% of the English workforce.

Skills shortages within the cleaning industry include: management and leaderships; technical skills; and employability skills (such as literacy, numeracy and English as a second or other language (ESOL)).

The industry is anticipating a decline in the number of cleaners (often working part-time), as companies shift towards daytime cleaning creating full-time jobs. However, there are also indications that the demand for domestic cleaners may increase as more people work longer hours to keep their job.

National and regional data

In England, the greatest concentration of cleaning employees is in London at 24%, with a further 14% based in the South East. 88% of cleaning companies are located in England, 9% in Scotland and 3% in Wales. The UK cleaning industry workforce is widely distributed:

  • 22,000 employees in the East Midlands
  • 45,800 in the East of England
  • 110,200 in London
  • 16,700 in the North East
  • 47,100 in the North West
  • 64,600 in the South East
  • 27,700 in the South West
  • 24,800 in the West Midlands
  • 24,100 in Yorkshire and the Humber
  • 9,100 in Northern Ireland
  • 50,900 in Scotland
  • 14,200 in Wales

Source: Asset Skills LMI March 2010

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Facilities management

The facilities management industry covers all types of management of services which includes: ‘hard’ services, such as property and estates management, building maintenance, energy management, environmental protection; and ‘soft’ services, such as cleaning, security, reception and customer care. There is a lack of a clear definition of the role of facilities management, which makes both career pathways and qualification structures difficult and as well as formal recognition of their area of work.

Key facts:

  • There are 136,900 people working in the property industry in 14,400 companies.
  • 91% of all facilities management organisations have 10 or less employees.
  • 0.6% of organisations employ more than 200 employees and provide work for approximately 40% of the workforce.
  • 28% of the workforce has attained a below NVQ level 2 qualification, 13% NVQ level 2 and 60% NVQ level 3 and above.

Workforce statistics

Gender: 58% male, 42% female

Age: 6% of the workforce is aged 16-24 years

22% 25-34 years

21% 35-44 years

25% 45-54 years

27% 55 years and over

12% of the workforce report having a disability.

Facilities management is seen as a relatively new industry. Employment forecasts before the economic downturn suggested a 122% growth in employment levels between 2004 and 2014. Since then annual growth rates for the industry are estimated to have slowed from 5% in 2006 to 2% in 2008. Cutbacks have been seen in services like landscaping, refitting and refurbishment. However, the industry has remained relatively stable through government spending on schools, hospitals and prisons. Stronger growth in the industry is predicted from 2011 onwards.

Skills shortages within the industry include: technical and practical skills; softer facilities management skills, such as people and client relationship management; strategic skills; and communications skills.

Some skills are transferable between hard and soft services and often someone would enter being responsible for either hard or soft services, whilst more senior staff would have responsibility for both. The desire for more commercial, business-orientated skills is being driven by a number of factors, including increasing competition and changing client requirements.

National and regional data

The facilities management industry workforce in England is widely distributed:

  • 5,900 employees in the East Midlands
  • 11,500 in the East of England
  • 29,900 in London
  • 3,100 in the North East
  • 12,700 in the North West
  • 15,500 in the South East
  • 11,200 in the South West
  • 10,000 in the West Midlands
  • 15,100 in Yorkshire and the Humber

Source: Asset Skills LMI March 2010

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Housing

The housing industry covers all forms of social housing including: housing associations; private landlords; the sustainable community’s agenda; and local authorities.

Key facts:

  • The housing industry plays an instrumental role in meeting key government targets in relation to communities and social inclusion.
  • Almost 9 out of 10 councils are experiencing or anticipate an increase in demand for social housing as a direct result of the recession.
  • There are 242,800 people working in the housing industry in 73,300 companies.
  • There are significantly more full time than part time employees in the industry.
  • 25% of the workforce has attained a below level 2 qualification, 17% NVQ level 2 and 58% NVQ level 3 and above.

Workforce statistics

Gender: 49% male, 51% female

Age: 8% of the workforce is aged 16-24 years

21% 25-34 years

27% 35-44 years

24% 45-54 years

20% 55 years and over

    12% of the workforce report having a disability.

    90% of the workforce is white.

    Employment forecasts before the economic downturn suggested a 14% growth in employment levels between 2004 and 2014. The current economic climate has had a significant impact on the housing industry. For instance, the difficult housing market means that attention has shifted towards the provision of affordable homes with which comes the increased need to manage housing provision.

    There is a demand for more housing managers with knowledge of: legal and financial matters; building maintenance and refurbishment; health and safety; and local authority procedures. Individuals are needed with up-to-date knowledge and understanding of the law regarding housing and homelessness. In addition, there is a growing need to address higher level management skills.

    People with generic management skills are sought from many different occupational areas. There is a shortage of managers with financial management skills in particular.

    There are a wide range of jobs in housing from the maintenance of buildings to support for community development, regeneration and tenant support. The majority of occupations are concentrated within managers and senior officials, associate professionals and technical occupations.

    Labour shortages have been identified in housing managers/officers, particularly in London and the South East, senior managers, and in specialist areas reflecting the increasing complexity of housing policy and intervention.

    National and regional data

    The housing industry workforce in England is widely distributed:

    • 14,100 employees in the East Midlands
    • 18,500 in the East of England
    • 40,700 in London
    • 11,800 in the North East
    • 31,000 in the North West
    • 36,300 in the South East
    • 17,400 in the South West
    • 19,600 in the West Midlands
    • 19,700 in Yorkshire and the Humber

    The organisations reporting hard-to-fill vacancies are mainly located within London, the South East and the East of England.

    Source: Asset Skills LMI March 2010

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    Parking

    The parking industry covers a diverse range of public and private sector on and off street parking, which includes: local authorities; hospitals, railway stations, supermarkets and airports; enforcement agents; and national parking operators. The industry also includes operators carrying out specialist activities, such as immobilising and removing vehicles, recovering debt (bailiffs) and so on.

    Key facts:

    • There are an estimated that there are over 60,000 people working in the industry, of these:

    - 18,000 work on-street

    - 24,500 work in off-street activities

    - 10,000 are office-based

    - 3,000 are in management positions

    - 5,000 are in support services (for example, finance, human resources)

    • 62% of the workforce has a qualification below NVQ level 2.
    • Customer service, interpersonal and IT skills are sought after in the industry.
    • 62%% of the workforce has attained a qualification below NVQ level 2 and 38% have attained NVQ level 2 and above qualification.

      Workforce statistics

      Gender: 90% male, 10% female

      Age: 25% of the workforce is aged 16-24 years

      56% 25-54 years

      20% 55-74 years

      82% of the workforce is white.

      Key issues faced by the parking industry over the next ten years which will impact on employment trends include:

      • an increased demand for relevant skills and qualifications
      • greater car usage and customers demanding more from parking services
      • the increased use of technology means that different skills are needed
      • the effects of transport planning and the environment, the extension of controlled parking zones and congestion charging in more towns and cities.

      There will be a greater need for training in the parking sector to cover skills shortages in the following areas: customer service and interpersonal skills; and information technology - the greater use of electronic equipment means there is a need for employees to be competent in the use and maintenance of such equipment.

      National and regional data

      The parking industry workforce in England is widely distributed, estimates suggest that there are:

      • 400 employees in London
      • 300 in the South East
      • 200 in the East of England
      • 200 in the North West
      • 200 in the South West
      • 200 in the West Midlands
      • 200 in Yorkshire and the Humber
      • 100 in the East Midlands
      • 100 in the North East

      Source: Asset Skills LMI March 2010

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      Property

      The property industry is part of the facilities management, housing, property, planning, cleaning and parking sector, represented by Asset Skills Sector Skills Council. The sector workforce, which has continued to grow since 1998, represents 3% of the total UK workforce.

      The property industry covers both the private and public sectors and includes: acquiring, planning, surveying and valuing of commercial and residential property; plus valuing, selling, letting and managing of commercial and residential property.

      Key facts:

      • The property industry includes key areas of commercial and residential sales and lettings and property management.
      • There are 155,300 people working in the property industry in 37,200 companies.
      • There are significantly more full time than part time employees in the industry.
      • 96% of all housing and property organisations have 10 or less employees.
      • 25% of the workforce have attained a below level 2 qualification, 17% NVQ level 2 and 58% NVQ level 3 and above.

      Workforce statistics

      Gender: 48% male, 52% female

      Age: 8% of the workforce is aged 16-24 years

      21% 25-34 years

      27% 35-44 years

      24% 45-54 years

      20% 55 years and over

      12% of the workforce report having a disability.

      95% of the workforce is white.

      Currently, the recession is having a significant impact on jobs within the property industry. There is increased demand on both the social rented and the private renting markets. The social rented sector is receiving higher levels of Government funding in an effort to offset the downturn in the sales market. The drop in demand in the sales market has increased demand for higher skilled estate agents to deal with challenging market conditions.

      It is estimated that almost half of the 80,000 estate agents who were in work 18 months ago have now been made unemployed. This has had a significant impact on associated occupations, leading to further job losses for valuers and surveyors.

      The Carsberg Review 2008 recommends licensing for estate agents. This will result in a substantial increase in demand for qualified estate agents.

      The majority of occupations across the property industry are concentrated within managers and senior officials, professional occupations, associate professionals and technical occupations, and sales and customer service occupations.

      Recruitment difficulties face certain parts of the industry and there is an urgent need to recruit town and country planners, and property managers. The transfer of sellers into the lettings market has increased the need for skilled staff to deal with lettings legislation and demand. In addition, there is an on-going need to recruit and retain residential property or block managers (those who manage the services to residential buildings).

      Prior to the recession, there was a shortfall of planning professionals, particularly in the South East and London. Although this is currently not the case, there are concerns that when the property market recovers, there will be a skills gap.

      Energy assessing could be an alternative job role for those in the property industry, as is town planning where there is currently a shortage of young people entering the profession.

      National and regional data

      The property industry workforce in England is widely distributed:

      • 9,400 employees in the East Midlands
      • 13,100 in the East of England
      • 29,500 in London
      • 6,300 in the North East
      • 14,400 in the North West
      • 26,500 in the South East
      • 15,200 in the South West
      • 15,100 in the West Midlands
      • 11,000 in Yorkshire and the Humber

      The organisations reporting hard-to-fill vacancies are mainly located within London, the South East and the East of England.

      Source: Asset Skills LMI March 2010

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