Government Accepts Recommendations To Place Stronger Emphasis On Training For Cleaning Industry

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More emphasis on upskilling to ensure that workforce continues to stay relevant


Singapore, 3 December 2019 – The Government has considered and accepted the recommendations contained in the report of the Tripartite Cluster for Cleaners (TCC)[1] dated December 2019, mapped out under the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) for the cleaning industry, which was released today. The recommendations will benefit more than 39,000 resident cleaners who are employed by over 1,200 cleaning businesses[2].

2. The Government notes that the TCC’s recommendations are based on the suggested training guidelines shown in the 2016 TCC report [3], which was for cleaners to attain at least two Singapore Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) Certification in Environmental Services (ES) modules or equivalent. The 2019 TCC report has outlined that the two modules should include: (i) one module on Workplace Safety and Health (WSH), and (ii) one core module (to be chosen from the list of modules endorsed by TCC).

3. The Government also accepts the TCC’s recommendations to add the new job role of “Restroom Cleaners” to the PWM Wage Ladder across all three sub-sectors, and to peg it to the wage level of “Healthcare Cleaners”.

More Emphasis on Upskilling

4. The enhancements on training will provide cleaners with the knowledge and skills needed to carry out their work safely, and upgrade their skills to improve productivity and service delivery with the relevant modules under the Skills Framework (SFw) for Environmental Services (ES), jointly developed by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), Workforce Singapore (WSG) and the National Environment Agency (NEA). The TCC will review the list of training courses regularly to ensure that the courses are relevant and timely.

5. These enhancements will ensure that the cleaning workforce continues to stay relevant, and is well equipped and ready for business transformation. Upskilling of the workforce is also a key aspect of the Environmental Services Industry Transformation Map (ES ITM) which was launched in December 2017 [4]. The enhancements to the training for cleaners is therefore timely and will augment efforts and initiatives under the ES ITM.

Implementation Timeline

6. Paying resident cleaners progressive wages stipulated under the PWM is an existing condition under the licensing regime for general cleaning businesses today. With effect from 1 July 2021, licensed cleaning businesses will pay higher wages for the new job role of “Restroom Cleaners”.

7. With regard to the training guidelines recommended by the TCC, NEA will consider the recommendations made by the TCC for implementation under the cleaning business licensing regime, as part of its ongoing journey to upskill and professionalise the general cleaning industry over time. Sufficient lead time will be provided for the industry to adapt to any enhancement to the licensing regime.

8. The Tripartite Cluster for Cleaners Report is available online at


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