From late February 2020, Ventia's Broadspectrum team rapidly expanded and reshaped the cleaning services we deliver to the NSW Department of Education at public schools, TAFEs and emergency services sites to protect people who use these spaces from COVID-19 infection.

Over the past few months, we have implemented many services to keep New South Wales' essential services operational. These include:

  • a 10,000-hour increase in cleaning services provided to Department of Education, TAFE NSW, Fire NSW, Ambulance NSW and NSW Police sites, for enhanced deep cleaning and disinfection
  • post-COVID-19 cleaning and vehicle deep cleaning for TAFE NSW
  • recruited, trained and deployed an additional 500 cleaners, in the two-week period leading up to public school students returning to in-person learning.

Working alongside a responsive and dedicated cleaning company, such as Broadspectrum, has allowed TAFE NSW to keep sites safe, clean and open for critical face-to-face training, ensuring our teachers and students have a clean and hygienic training space," said Trevor Reeves, TAFE NSW Facilities Project Manager. 

School Infrastructure NSW said that the enhanced cleaning and the day cleans that have been undertaken by Broadspectrum in our schools have given school communities a level of confidence that schools are safe for staff and students.

In total, the increase in service delivery created more than 650 new jobs on the contract and gave hundreds of our existing part-time cleaners the opportunity to work more hours if they chose.

Responding to the COVID-19 crisis

The support services that enabled the contract to flexibly respond to the crisis were significant. A few examples are the formation of a strategic partnership with Aspen Medical to advise on extending our training and cleaning regimens to meet NSW Health and World Health Organisation COVID-19 guidelines, the ability of our Skout Solutions recruitment team to rapidly attract and screen more than 1,700 candidates and onboard 650+ high-calibre cleaners, and the tenacity of our procurement team to secure personal protective equipment amidst shortages. 

Supervisors also rose to the challenge, training the new cleaners, ensuring adequate supplies and personal protective equipment were available at all sites, and conducting increased supervisory site visits, all while working from home-based offices.

Among all the good work delivered across the contract, the cleaners themselves deservedly stole the spotlight. Whether providing ongoing cleaning, enhanced deep cleaning, disinfection, or post-COVID-19 cleaning, their focus didn't waver from doing the job right and protecting the end users.

Us cleaners are constantly thinking about the people who are going to be using the space, and about the other people cleaning with us," said cleaner Tammy Brydon. "We get every touchpoint, every surface. You have to be detail oriented."

Cleaner Leona Buckley agreed, saying it is important to her that she helps Richmond Public School run smoothly. "Because we're here, they don't have to worry about the bins being emptied or the toilets being cleaned. They can focus on the kids."

Our dedicated team

Broadspectrum school cleaner Deng Dau at St Mary
Broadspectrum school cleaner Deng Dau pictured at St Mary's High School

Across all sites, the cleaners have taken service changes in their stride, adapting to ensure compliance with new safety and hygiene standards. As the services have changed, Contract Manager David Zensea said cleaners' care and professionalism has stood out. 

"Even at the height of the infection curve, I would visit the sites and see that our cleaners were positive, thorough, organised and following all the required procedures as a team." 

Many cleaners were also juggling increased personal responsibilities, as many of their own children were not in school full-time. Deng Dau (pictured above), a cleaner who welcomed the opportunity to work extra hours, maintained top-notch performance as a cleaner at St Mary's Senior High School while being the primary caretaker for his three children.

"The team rose to every challenge," David said. "The feedback from our clients is that the cleanliness is evident. We're providing safety, hygiene and also comfort for the people using those spaces. I'm incredibly proud of our cleaners."