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cleaning industry embrace the Environment Services Industry Transformation Map (ES ITM) launched 2 years ago.
One of the 4 pronged strategies is the upskilling of the cleaning workforce via the Skills Framework for Environmental Services. With digitalization of the industry on the horizon, skills of the cleaning workforce must be enhanced. New competencies such as data analytics, robotics and automation will be sought after. Digital literacy is no longer a buzzword but a necessity.
Next, the migrant worker situation has also highlighted a latent issue within the cleaning industry. The reliance on foreign workers is not sustainable even though it is necessary now. Current practices are not sustainable as illustrated by the COVID-19 situation. Our status as one of the cleanest and most liveable cities in the world will be under threat if current practices are not changed.
The service buyers must start adopting and implementing outcome or performance-based contracts to push for service providers to look into utilization of better cleaning technologies and resources such as digital solutions which can improve both productivity and cleaning outcomes. Contracts that are headcount driven should be abolished as this will not help with the situation. In addition, evaluation criteria must change to
look beyond pricing and should include competencies, use of appropriate equipment, technologies and also skillsets of the cleaning workforce.
National Environmental Agency’s announcement of the enhancement of the Productivity Solution Grant is also a boon to the industry and service providers should make use of this grant to further their efficiency and business productivity by adoption of the latest technology solutions.
In the past 2 years, equipment and technology suppliers across the world have been launching cleaning robots furiously. In a recent survey commissioned by Karcher Singapore Private Limited and the Singapore Management University, it was noted that many cleaners have not embraced this robotic push well. Some cited

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