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10 Questions with... Jim Melvin


Each month we ask a cleaning industry professional the


Tomorrow’s Cleaning 10 Questions. This month, we chatted to Jim Melvin, Chairman of the British Cleaning Council.


1 2


WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB? I worked part-time for my mother’s company as a


teenager.


HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE CLEANING INDUSTRY? I had gone from professional football to semi-pro and


needed to find a job. A teammate’s father had a cleaning business who needed a manager. I joined his business and learned on the job.


3 4


WHICH THREE WORDS DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?


Competitive, persistent, generous.


IF YOU COULD VISIT ONE PLACE IN THE WORLD, WHERE WOULD YOU GO AND WHY? Buenos Aires and I have no idea why!


8 9


IF YOU COULD HOST A DINNER PARTY AND INVITE ANY PEOPLE, DEAD OR ALIVE, WHO WOULD THEY


BE AND WHY? My hero, the late, great Billy McNeill – Celtic’s European Cup-winning captain; Billy Connolly (wouldn’t you just enjoy his observations, humour and laughter); and Barack Obama, given his position as the first person of colour to become US president, and as someone for whom I have the greatest respect as a man and a statesman.


WHAT, DO YOU THINK, IS THE FUTURE OF THE CLEANING INDUSTRY?


I believe we’re at a significant point of change and will never have a better chance to showcase the industry. The pandemic is tragic and horrific, but it’s also shown just how important our brave teams are. Therefore, with the work being done by so many people (BCC/CSSA/WCEC/CHSA and every member association), we must drive ahead on what could be a very different and brighter future, in which we’re not only seen for being the professionals that we are, but in aspiring to be even better. This pandemic isn’t over and it won’t be the only one that we face, so our services will continue to be needed, giving us the opportunity to shape our own future.


Rachael Flanagan, Founder and Managing Director at Mrs Buckét, asks:


10 5


HOW WOULD YOU IMPROVE THE CLEANING INDUSTRY?


The elements that we are currently working hard on. Recognition of staff, training and upskilling, professional standards, continuing with technology, innovation, and heightening the sustainability and environmental processes. I believe that these will change the view and culture of how clients and politicians see cleaning and subsequently allow a review of the Immigration Act and resource.


6 7


IF AN INTERN WERE TO START TOMORROW, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE THEM?


Enjoy the challenge of a people industry. It’s always about people, so some days can be an adventure.


IF YOU WON THE LOTTERY TOMORROW, HOW WOULD YOU SPEND YOUR FORTUNE?


Family comes first. Always has and always will. My family and future grandchildren are primary. After that, Glasgow Celtic F.C. would certainly benefit, as would a bit of philanthropy.


64 | 10 QUESTIONS


WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON CLEANERS HOLDING KEY WORKER STATUS?


The BCC has been calling for all frontline cleaning and hygiene industry staff to be given key and essential worker status since the start of the pandemic. Our teams, including delivery drivers and machinery maintenance engineers etc, not only complete vital work but put themselves at risk from the virus and protected other people throughout, so there’s little doubt they should be recognised. It’s wholly unacceptable and frustrating that this hasn’t happened and it’s a key priority for the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Cleaning and Hygiene Industry. With the recognition of our teams as key workers, and hopefully with work being done in other areas like the Apprenticeship Levy, we can remove the perception that cleaning and hygiene roles are exempt of skill or are not different. It will be a brave politician who says that cleaning and hygiene is not vital and so we will work extremely hard, expect others to do the same, and try to influence Government to give our sector’s operatives the credit they not only deserve, but have earned.


www.britishcleaningcouncil.org


Check out next month’s issue to see what Rachael asked our next industry professional...


twitter.com/TomoCleaning


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