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Cleaning, Pest Control and Waste Management

Overview

This page provides information and data on the Cleaning, Pest Control and Waste Management sector, which is one component of the Property Services industry.

The Cleaning, Pest Control and Waste Management sector includes those involved in cleaning operations and management, carpet cleaning, waste collection, treatment and disposal, and pest management (including urban pest management). Pest Control is a licensed occupation, and completion of a vocational skills set is required in all states and territories except Western Australia. Though there are no occupational licences for those involved in Waste Management, facilities processing waste are licensed by states and territories.

There were approximately 29,517 businesses operating in Cleaning, 2,897 operating in Pest Control and 1,974 operating in Waste Management in 2018, with a large proportion of sole traders.

Nationally recognised training for Cleaning, Pest Control and Waste Management is delivered under the CPP – Property Services Training Package.

Information sourced from the Property Services IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

Employment levels in Building Cleaning, Pest Control and Other Support Services were relatively similar between 2000 and 2009, with stronger rises between 2009 and 2019. Employment is projected to rise from approximately 221,300 in 2019 to approximately 229,600 in 2024. Commercial Cleaners and Domestic Cleaners are the most common occupations in this sector, accounting for approximately 44% of the workforce between them. Domestic Cleaners are projected to have the largest rise in employment between 2019 and 2024, increasing by around 7%. While most occupations in this sector are projected to increase in employment levels, a reduction of approximately 1% in employment is projected for Cleaners and Laundry Workers (not further defined) between 2019 and 2024.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Program enrolments in the Cleaning, Pest Control and Waste Management sector increased between 2015 and 2017 to a peak of 9,430, but decreased to 6,960 in 2018. Program completions have decreased over time in this sector, from 2,470 in 2015 to 1,190 in 2018. Almost all qualifications in this sector were at the certificate II and III levels in 2018 (98%, or 6,850 enrolments). Cleaning operations was the area in this sector with the most enrolments in 2018 (5,440). Most enrolments in this sector in 2018 had an intended occupation of Commercial Cleaner or Pest Controller.

Enrolments in this sector in 2018 were split fairly evenly between TAFE institutes (42%) and private training providers (52%). Pest Management and Waste Management qualifications had equal greatest proportions of enrolments at private training providers (73%). Most subjects were Commonwealth and state funded (72%). In 2018, the largest proportion of students enrolled in this sector were from Victoria (44%), followed by New South Wales (23%) and Queensland (17%). Approximately 43% of training was delivered in Victoria, followed by New South Wales (29%) and Queensland (16%).

Apprentice and trainee commencements and completions in Cleaning, Pest Control and Waste Management fell significantly from their peak of 4,670 in 2010, with a small rise in commencements in 2016, followed by a fall to 620 commencements in 2018. There were 480 completions in 2018, a slight increase from 440 the previous year. The most common intended occupation for apprentices and trainees in this sector is Commercial Cleaner (78% of apprentices and trainees). New South Wales (46%), Victoria (19%) and Queensland (18%) reported the highest proportions of apprentices and trainees in this sector in 2018.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, visit NCVER’s VET students by industry. If you are prompted to log in, select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of Total VET.  

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

According to the Property Services IRC’s Skills Forecast 2019 the top generic skills for the Property Services industry as a whole, and therefore for the Cleaning, Pest Control and Waste Management sector are, in addition to knowledge specific to the industry area:

  • Managerial / Leadership
  • Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) (Foundation skills)
  • Customer service / Marketing
  • Financial
  • Technology.

According to job vacancy data, the top generic skills in demand in the Cleaning, Pest Control and Waste Management sector are:

  • Communication skills
  • Detail oriented
  • Organisational skills
  • Time management
  • Planning.

In addition, the job vacancy data identifies the most in-demand occupations as: Domestic Cleaners, Commercial Cleaners, Greenkeepers, Sales Representatives, Other Miscellaneous Labourers. The top employers for the sector include: ISS Facility Services, Coca-Cola Amatil, Cleanaway, Landscape Solutions Australia, Menzies Group.

The 2018 National Waste Policy identifies the need for a change to a circular economy, supporting resource recovery and recycling, and reducing the generation of waste. It highlights an opportunity for jobs growth with increased recycling levels, with 9.2 jobs created for every 10,000 tonnes of waste recycled compared to 2.8 for the same amount sent to landfill. The policy also notes that while the amount of waste produced per capita is decreasing, the quantity of waste produced nationally is increasing overall due to increasing population.

In the 2018 Analysis of Australia’s municipal recycling infrastructure capacity contamination is a running theme affecting waste recycling. China’s restrictions on waste imports are identified as impacting the sector, as previously this accounted for 35% of our recyclable plastics and 30% of our recyclable paper and cardboard. Access to municipal waste collection is also identified as an issue, with inconsistent access to collection for different types of waste across jurisdictions. Organic waste collection is of particular note, as 58% of households do not have access to kerbside organic waste collection.

The Property Services IRC’s 2018 Skills Forecast suggests urbanisations, regulation and sustainability are key factors impacting this sector currently. Urbanisation and connected population growth are creating higher density suburbs, driving up volumes of waste. This increase may also be leading to more efficiency in waste collection, meaning it does not necessarily translate into job growth. However, this urbanisation is likely to create growth in pest management, with higher population density often leading to more pests and therefore an increased demand for eradication. Government regulation aims at encouraging recycling has acted as a constraint on demand for waste disposal. Landfill levies and recycling targets are examples of policy changes that will impact the waste management areas of this sector.

The Property Services IRC’s 2017 Skills Forecast highlights a number of key trends in this sector with implications for skills needs. Increased use of non-chemical treatment options is occurring in the area of Pest Control, which needs to be reflected in the training available. In the Cleaning area, technological change is driving the increased use of automation and robotics, alongside a focus on sustainability. Training in this area must ensure workers have up-to-date information on the latest sustainable practices and tools. Most technological improvements in the Waste Management field are in the area of vehicle improvement, with increased efficiency and improved transportation of liquid waste. Alternative waste technology allowing the diversion of waste from landfill is a future growth area, with skills in recycling and reproducing waste in alternative forms key for future workers.

A Parliamentary report on the waste and recycling industry in Australia recommended, among other points, a phase out process for single use plastic, a national container deposit scheme and mandatory product stewardship schemes for products such as tyres or e-waste. These suggestions, as well as others in the report, are intended to reduce non-recyclable waste and create stronger incentives to reclaim material from landfill for recycling.

The Industry Sector Report ANZSIC 731 – Building Cleaning, Pest Control and Gardening Services points out that due to the unregulated nature of the Cleaning field and a low barrier to entry, many workers do not have formal training. This may pose a risk to the standards within the field. In the area of Pest Control, a past tightening of standards has meant operators must undertake nationally accredited training, with some organisations supplementing this with informal in-house training. The focus in this area is likely to shift to prevention, with a trend toward lessening environmental impact and minimising the use of chemicals.

The Industry Sector Report ANZSIC 29 – Waste Collection, Treatment and Disposal Services agrees with many of the points from the skills forecast above, and that recent development in liquid waste recycling and processing have made the collection of liquid waste more profitable. Workers need skills in using the latest technology in waste disposal particularly, where efficiency and cost reduction are key.

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2018, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSIC 2 digit Building 73 Cleaning, Pest Control and Other Support Services industry, employment projections to May 2023
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2023
    • 8110 Cleaners and Laundry Workers, nfd
    • 8112 Commercial Cleaners
    • 8113 Domestic Cleaners
    • 8419 Other Farm, Forestry and Garden Workers.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018, Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ06, viewed 1 November 2018 http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202018?OpenDocument

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 2 digit Building 73 Cleaning, Pest Control and Other Support Services industry, 2000 to 2018, May Quarter.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by 2 digit Building 73 Cleaning, Pest Control and Other Support Services industry, and 4 digit level occupations to identify the relevant VET-related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce.

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET students and courses from the following training packages or qualifications:

  • CPP Property Services Training Package, PRM Asset Maintenance Training Package
    • Cleaning Operations
    • CPP10211 - Certificate I in Cleaning Operations
    • CPP20611 - Certificate II in Cleaning Operations
    • CPP30316 - Certificate III in Cleaning Operations
    • CPP31011 - Certificate III in Cleaning Operations
    • CPP31111 - Certificate III in Carpet Cleaning Operations
    • PRM20104 - Certificate II in Asset Maintenance (Cleaning Operations)
    • PRM30104 - Certificate III in Asset Maintenance (Cleaning Operations)
    • PRM30604 - Certificate III in Asset Maintenance (Carpet Cleaning)
  • Cleaning Management
    • CPP40416 - Certificate IV in Cleaning Management
    • CPP41011 - Certificate IV in Cleaning Management
    • PRM40109 - Certificate IV in Asset Maintenance (Cleaning Management)
  • Waste Management
    • CPP20216 - Certificate II in Waste Management
    • CPP20411 - Certificate II in Waste Management
    • CPP30711 - Certificate III in Waste Management
    • CPP40911 - Certificate IV in Waste Management
    • CPP50616 - Diploma of Waste Management
    • CPP50811 - Diploma of Waste Management
    • PRM30504 - Certificate III in Asset Maintenance (Waste Management)
    • PRM30509 - Certificate III in Asset Maintenance (Waste Management)
    • PRM40509 - Certificate IV in Asset Maintenance (Waste Management)
  • Pest Management
    • CPP30115 - Certificate III in Urban Pest Management
    • CPP30911 - Certificate III in Pest Management
    • PRM30204 - Certificate III in Asset Maintenance (Pest Management - Technical)
    • PRM40204 - Certificate IV in Asset Maintenance (Pest Management).

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 program enrolments
  • 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document. 

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

CPP Property Services Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 2010 to 2018 commencements
  • 2010 to 2018 completions 
  • 2018 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2018 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Priority skills data have been extracted from the Property Services IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast.

Job vacancy data have been extracted from Burning Glass Technologies 2019, Labour Insight Real-time Labour Market Information Tool, Burning Glass Technologies, Boston, viewed July 2019, https://www.burning-glass.com.

Data shown represent most requested generic skills, occupations and employers according to internet job postings in Australia between July 2016 and June 2019 filtered by ANZSIC and ANZSCO classification levels listed below.

  • Generic skills / Occupations
    • 73 Building Cleaning, Pest Control and Other Support Services
  • Employers
    • 8113 Domestic Cleaners
    • 8112 Commercial Cleaners
    • 3623 Greenkeepers
    • 6113 Sales Representatives
    • 8999 Other Miscellaneous Labourers
    • 73 Building Cleaning, Pest Control and Other Support Services.
Updated: 02 Apr 2020
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