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Teens sacked for lack of vacuum training

A Chippenham, England, 16-year-old says he was fired by a cleaning company because he did not have the health and safety clearance to use a vacuum cleaner.

Karl Walker said he and another 16-year-old were hired by Apollo Cleaning and worked cleaning offices for one week before the regional director ordered them to stop working. Their age requires them to receive special training to use Hoover vacuums, hot water, liquid soap, furniture polish and even to empty garbage cans, The Sun reported Thursday.

"My son is legally old enough to get married or join the Army yet these people think he's too young to be able to hoover up," Walker's mom, Susan, 47, said. "The entire situation is a joke."

The head of Apollo Cleaning, Paul Lundy, said requiring safety clearance for the young workers is mandatory under government guidelines.

"When an employee is only 16 we have to be very careful with the tasks we set them as their bodies are not yet fully formed," Lundy said. "But I'm sure once the proper checks have been completed there will be no problem in re-employing these young people."
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