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One thing we’ve all stopped taking for granted during the COVID-19 pandemic is cleanliness. While this virus has upended many careers, others, such as professional cleaners – or what the industry calls building service workers – are receiving some long-due recognition.
Vancouver Community College (VCC) building service and management instructor Barry Dallas appreciates that political leaders have recently acknowledged cleaning staff as frontline heroes. “They not only clean, but disinfect to keep us all safe,” says Barry. “This effort has not gone unnoticed.”
According to Barry, the building service industry has advanced over the years, and cleaners now often require specialized training and certifications before finding gainful employment.
VCC has been training and certifying building service professionals since 1987. Over the years, the courses have evolved with the industry and now cover topics including sanitation, disinfection, operation of industrial cleaning equipment, commercial cleaning, fire prevention, self-employment skills, and more.
According to WorkBC, over 12,700 job openings for building service workers are predicted in B.C. over the next 10 years, making it an attractive career option in an uncertain economy.
“Our alumni have been successful as public employees, private employees, and entrepreneurs,” says Barry. “A student can enter this profession with little experience and make a good living within a year.”