Environmental Services Apprenticeships

Almost 1 in 27 of the working population works in the environmental and cleaning service sectors

72% of the the workforce have no formal qualifications – apprenticeships can really help!

In recent years, many businesses have recognised that providing a clean, safe and welcoming environment for their workforce, customers and visitors is vital for the wellbeing of building occupants, maintaining the value of property and developing a good reputation. Cleaning has therefore become a priority service area, with the UK cleaning industry generating an annual turnover of £4.7 billion in 2011.

Cleaning professionals make a difference to all our lives, although the work often goes unappreciated. Cleaners ensure that the places we work in and the public places we use are attractive, safe and hygienic. In hospitals, cleaning staff are at the forefront of controlling the spread of infection, and in many walks of life cleaners ensure a hazard-free environment by ensuring it is safe and clean for the general public.

This apprenticeship has two pathways, Cleaning and Environmental Services.

Cleaning covers the following job roles: building interiors cleaner, hygiene operative, facilities operative, specialist cleaning operative, window cleaner and food premises cleaner. Apprentices could work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, schools, factories, state-of-the-art offices and shopping centres.

Environmental Services covers the job roles of neighbourhood services assistant or operative. The role involves a combination of cleaning and horticultural skills, such as hard and soft landscaping and grounds maintenance. Apprentices following this pathway would normally work for local authorities and housing associations in settings such as parks, cemeteries and crematoria, public rights of way, countryside recreation sites and open spaces around people’s homes and council buildings.

Almost 1 in 27 of the working population is in the cleaning sector. The vast majority of companies within the sector are small in size and employ 10 or fewer people. However, 50% of all employees within the sector work in organisations of 200 people or more. Asset Skills research indicates that a high proportion of companies are looking to grow over the next three years and 27% of companies plan to move into new areas of activity.

Challenges faced by cleaning companies include

  • Attracting staff into the job – the poor perception of the sector means that it is often difficult to attract skilled people.
  • Shortage of skilled workers – 72% of the workforce have no qualifications.
  • Skills gaps in management & leadership, green issues, technical, literacy and numeracy skills.
  • Keeping up with frequently changing legislation while under pressure to continue to provide clients with a high level of service at a lower cost.


Contact our team  for a copy of our detailed, unit by unit, Environmental and Cleaning apprenticeship prospectus.

Our Apprenticeship training includes:


  • Recognised qualifications:  from Level 2 to Level 6
  • Teaching: a fully flexible programme; in general all of our apprentices are taught off the job, in a classroom, with a real teacher.
  • Workshops: each apprenticeship is structured around taught workshops that run throughout the year. Your apprentice books into these in advance, but in a pattern that suits you
  • Assessment: this is carried out on the job (at your premises) at times that work for you and your apprentice
  • Individualised learning: we plan the learning and assessment for your apprentice on an individual basis
  • Tracking: you can follow your apprentices progress online, in real time, or by logging in to OneFile (the leading ePortfolio for apprenticeships)
  • Progression: apprentices can seamlessly progress to higher level qualifications
  • Apprenticeship Levy recovery: we make sure you can recover 100% of your levy or benefit from generous government co-funding


Contact our apprenticeship training team if you would like to find out more about how you can use our apprenticeships to train your staff.