Tag Archives: Sean Canty

Working at height specialism lands CAM an Olympic-sized challenge

CAM Specialist Support’s expertise in high level cleaning has secured it a contract to clean the Here East building in The Queen Elizabeth Park, Stratford, London.

Previously part of the London Olympics site, the building was used as the media centre during the 2012 games. Current tenants include BT Sports studios, Loughborough University and a number of new start up and retail clients.

CAM conducts bespoke risk assessments for every job it carries out and selects the most appropriate work at height method, or methods, from its armoury. This includes rope access, mobile elevated work platforms and water-fed pole systems.

Sean Canty, Director at CAM Specialist Support, said: “I’m delighted to have won the contract for this showcase building. The client told us we were specifically selected due to our reputation for delivering quality service and our understanding of the specific and unique requirements of delivering a clean building when working at height.”

CAM works on a wide variety of buildings across London and the South East, and specialises in cleaning and commercial building maintenance tasks in those hard to access places that others just can’t reach.

Blog post: Stick or twist

by Sean Canty, Director, CAM Specialist Support

With the EU referendum date finally approaching and facts scarce to non-existent, a decision on whether to vote in or out basically comes down to how keen you are to gamble.

Do you stick with what we know or twist and see what the future can bring us? I’d love to supply you with hard-hitting facts that mean you know what’s best, but as the politicians and experts can’t, I’m afraid that’s just not going to happen. Anyone from either side who is claiming to know the future should either be using their powers for a greater purpose (world peace? winning lottery numbers?) or is wrong.

What I can do is say is that we work with a number of prestigious property managing agents and many have expressed concerns about international clients abandoning London in the event of a vote to leave the EU. London’s place in the financial system will surely be put at risk if Brexit is the chosen path. Why would banks and other multinationals want to be based here if we’re outside the EU?

We know that London is one of the financial capitals of the world and the sleek offices and commercial buildings from Battersea to Canary Wharf are testament to that. As with any industry, there are many subsidiary businesses reliant on their success. In this case the companies that sell suits or sandwiches are just the start.

For our company, a successful financial sector means there are plenty of opportunities to provide commercial building maintenance and high level cleaning services. Those shiny architectural monuments to commercial accomplishment don’t clean themselves you know!

Migration is obviously a contentious issue, with both sides making claim and counter-claim. The cleaning industry is heavily reliant on migrant workers and if there were to be a reduction in the people available to work in the sector, the impact on our city, and indeed our country, could be huge.

We have long sought to make the cleaning industry more attractive to quality applicants, to show it as the place of entrepreneurship and opportunity that it is. Without a sufficient pool of workers to recruit from, standards on cleaning are likely to drop, with a negative impact on our living and working conditions.

Maybe, by opting to stick, we’ll be missing out on a glorious future, but I can’t help thinking that in this case sticking with what we know could be the trump card!

Blog post: A marathon not a sprint – changing perceptions of the cleaning industry

by Sean Canty, Director, CAM Specialist Support

April is London Marathon month, an event that I know not all Londoners welcome, especially those living or working on the route and facing major disruption. However, I see the Marathon as a great celebration of everything that is wonderful about our city.

It’s a colourful, multicultural event open to everyone, from the world’s elite athletes to well, frankly, eccentric oddballs! How else would you describe the guys dressed in a diving suit, Dr Who’s Tardis or a bottle of London Pride? And, of course, the Marathon raises millions for a wide variety of good causes; more than £770 million since the first race in 1981.

It’s also a great showcase for our Capital with the route taking in buildings displaying London’s heritage and modernity in equal measure – including a number that CAM is responsible for cleaning and maintaining. Thousands line the route and millions watch around the world to see the sights and sounds. Good luck to everyone taking part, whether running competitively or walking in a silly costume. I hope you achieve your goal.

A clean sweep

Although I’m not attempting this gruelling test, I am involved in a major challenge and that is to alter people’s perceptions of the cleaning industry. Something that will definitely be more of a marathon than a sprint!

The action of sweeping and mopping is widely perceived as low skilled. However, this is because there’s a lack of understanding about the training that a professional cleaner undertakes. This necessarily includes health and safety for personal and public protection, COSHH regulations and customer service training – all required before individuals can develop their skills and make career progress in the industry.

Just because people mop and sweep at home doesn’t mean they are ready to do so in a public environment. The myth that cleaning is low-skilled is exemplified by public comments such as those by Sir Michael Wilshaw in his criticisms of apprenticeships being awarded for “low-level” skills like making coffee and mopping floors.

Like many jobs, cleaners start at the base level. How is this any different to a young man or woman joining a manufacturing business, learning the basics needed to get a foundation in the industry and then looking to build a career? The answer is that it’s not, yet those working in the different industries are looked upon very differently and it’s time that changed.

I’ve written to the CSSA to call on them to challenge this perception of the cleaning industry and hope many more of you will join the cause. The finish line may be a long way off, but it would be a major achievement to reach it!

This blog post was first published on the Cleaning Matters website.

Sharing the benefits of being a Living Wage employer

The increased costs of paying higher wages are a concern to many businesses, so London Living Wage employer CAM Specialist Support – a commercial high-level cleaning and building maintenance business – was happy to share its experiences of the benefits with a group of local businesses recently.

Speaking at an event organised by Lewisham Council, Sean Canty, Director at CAM, outlined what the Living Wage means to the business and admitted: “we understand why companies might be reluctant to join the London Living Wage scheme, but any uncertainty is behind us now. We have always looked to pay our staff well and paid the London Living Wage rate for a couple of years before becoming officially accredited.”

Since receiving the official accreditation, CAM has seen a better quality of applicants for vacant posts within the company and staff retention and engagement has improved. It has also led to a reduction in absenteeism.

“We’ve found that there is greater awareness of CAM from both existing and potential customers – some of which insist their contractors are accredited – and that we can add value to their businesses now we have the accreditation. This has all helped to grow our business,” said Sean.

Fellow director Matt Johnson added: “Paying the London Living Wage has enhanced the way we view ourselves as a company, and the way we are viewed by existing and potential customers. Our initial fear that we would need to reduce our staff levels to cope with the costs has proved unfounded thanks to the extra business we’ve been able to secure.”

The event was hosted by the Mayor of Lewisham and also featured a presentation from Katherine Chapman of the Living Wage Foundation and the announcement of a business rate rebate scheme for Living Wage employers in the London Borough of Lewisham to help them with accreditation costs.

CAM Specialist Support installs ‘eye in the sky’ for amazing views of Aylesbury’s famous  peregrines

Outdoor cleaning specialist spreads wings to help client, Aylesbury Vale District Council, track the birds’ progress

CAM Specialist Support is well-known throughout the UK cleaning and facilities management industries for providing its clients with services that require skills that are out of the ordinary, but its latest job for Aylesbury Vale District Council hits even greater heights – quite literally!

CAM has installed a very special ‘cam’ on the top of the County Hall building, where two peregrine falcons have decided to make their nest. Widely thought to be the world’s fastest animal, with claims that they can reach speeds of up to 240mph when diving and swooping for prey, they have been a fixture at the site in Aylesbury for the last three years.

CAM Specialist Support offers a wide range of cleaning and maintenance services including window cleaning – via platforms or abseiling, cladding and extractor cleaning, gutter and roof clearance, as well as the provision of energy reduction solutions. It drew upon its expertise in the maintenance of tall buildings for this latest project, which gives a new meaning to the phrase ‘bird’s eye view’.

Sean Canty, director of CAM Specialist Support, said: “Specialist high level access is just one of the highly technical services in which we specialise, and this helped us immensely when taking on this unusual but extremely satisfying project. The birds are currently brooding three eggs, which we hope will hatch successfully later in April. The CAM ‘cam’ will enable people from around the world to watch the footage online, something the team are incredibly proud of.”

You can see footage and images at http://www.aylesburyperegrine.org.uk/