A laundry assistant/manager works in a laundry and is responsible for laundering items such as:
Laundry workers may be involved in the following tasks:
In a smaller laundry they may have to do all these tasks, but in a larger laundry they are more likely to work in one particular section of the process.
They may liaise with people from other departments. For example, in a hospital they might work with hospital porters who collect and deliver items.
Laundry managers are responsible for making sure that the laundry staff carry out their duties. They may also do management tasks such as maintaining profitability and setting targets, accounting and payroll duties, recruiting and training staff, and making sure health and safety requirements are met.
Many laundering processes involve using machinery such as washer-extractors, tumble-dryers, irons and garment-finishing equipment.
Laundry workers usually work 35 to 40 hours a week in shifts. Many laundries are open six or seven days a week, including Saturdays and evenings. Part-time work and overtime may be available.
Laundries can be warm, crowded and noisy places. The work can involve a lot of walking, stretching and lifting. Uniforms or protective clothing may be provided.
The work may be unsuitable for people who suffer from allergies due to the regular use of detergents.
Starting salaries for laundry assistants may be around £11,500 a year.
Laundry assistants/managers are employed throughout the UK, although most laundries are in urban areas. They may work in:
Jobs are advertised in Connexions centres and Jobcentre Plus offices, in local newspapers and on company websites. Magazines such as Laundry and Cleaning Today also have recruitment sections.
There are no set academic requirements to become a laundry worker, although literacy and numeracy skills are important. Employers look for young people who are reliable and willing to work to high standards. It may help to have practical skills or previous experience of working in a laundry, cleaning or dry-cleaning environment.
Commercial laundries may not allow employees less than 18 years of age to operate certain types of machinery.
Training usually takes place on the job, under the supervision of experienced colleagues. Many organisations offer in-house training and the opportunity to study for relevant qualifications:
Oil Drilling Roustabouts and Roughnecks work as part of a small team on offshore oil or gas drilling rigs or production platforms. Roustabouts do unskilled manual labouring jobs on rigs and platforms, and Roughneck is a promotion from roustabout.
Roustabouts do basic tasks to help keep the rig and platform working efficiently and Roughnecks do practical tasks involved in the drilling operation, under the supervision of the driller.
A laundry worker needs to be:
With experience and training, promotion is possible for hard working and enthusiastic employees. Laundry assistants may progress to supervisory or managerial roles, and eventually to the job of laundry manager.
It may be possible for laundry managers to become self-employed and set up their own businesses.
Guild of Cleaners and Launderers (GCL),
1 Wellfield Road, Offerton, Stockport,
Cheshire SK2 6AS
Tel: 0845 600 1838
SATRA, SATRA House, Rockingham Road,
Kettering, Northamptonshire NN16 8SD
Tel: 01536 410000
Skillfast-UK, Richmond House,
Lawnswood Business Park, Leeds LS16 6RD
Tel: 0113 239 9600
Society of Hospital Linen Service and Laundry Managers,
Linen Services Manager, Airedale General Hospital,
Steeton, Keighley BD20 6TD
Tel: 01535 294231
Additional resources for job seekers and those already in a job.