Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Drastic shortage of swim teachers puts young Australians at risk

Drastic shortage of swim teachers puts young Australians at risk
March 18, 2021

A massive shortage of swim teachers is putting young children at risk with swim schools across the country reporting long waiting lists for lessons while they scramble to find suitable staff.

Estimating a need for at least 2000 swimming teachers across Australia and highlighting that extra training courses were being implemented by the industry body to help people achieve the necessary qualifications, Swim Australia Chief Executive, Brendon Ward stated “we lost a lot of swim teachers during COVID as pools were closed and many were ineligible for JobKeeper and sought alternative employment in other sectors.

“As a result, we are now seeing average waiting lists for swim lessons 20% higher than they were pre-COVID and many swim schools cannot even cater for their existing customer base.”

Explaining that the swim teacher shortage posed a risk to long-term water safety and learn to swim skills in children, Ward commented “we’ve already seen an increase in the drowning toll this summer.

“Swimming is a core life skill which is best taught in the formative years and if we miss the chance to teach young Aussies water safety skills, we may miss it forever.”

Nancy Shaw, General Manager at Holsworthy Aquatic Centre in Sydney said at her swim school alone, they had vacancies for at least six swim teachers and for the first time they have a waiting list for swim lessons.

Shaw explained “along with the teacher shortage, there has also been an increase in demand for learn to swim lessons, particularly for babies and toddlers.

“Our most recent school holiday program was the biggest we have ever had, a key reason being that people were not travelling and were doing activities close to home instead.”

Ward said the flip side was that there were now over 2000 jobs begging across the country, a major employment opportunity for Australians with JobKeeper finishing in March, going on to say “swim teaching is one of the most flexible jobs available and is attractive to both people seeking full-time employment or those looking to earn extra income while studying or bringing up young children.

“People can complete a Swim Australia teacher workshop in one day, start on-the-job training almost immediately and within six weeks they can have an industry and VET recognised qualification and basically guaranteed employment right now with the need so high.”

For 19-year-old Brisbane student Amy McKitrick, her swim teaching qualifications have literally opened up the world and two years ago she travelled to Mexico to volunteer at an orphanage, with part of that work being to teach the kids to swim.

McKitrick advised “I taught the kids from the orphanage and other local kids from the village to swim and while they ranged in age from 4 to 12, many of them had never been taught to swim.

“It was an amazing experience that I would love to do again.”

McKitrick teaches swimming part-time at Nudgee College Swimming in Brisbane, fitting lessons in with her university studies and said the job was extremely rewarding, and adds “I loved swimming as a kid and now I can share that with the kids I teach.

“There’s the satisfaction of watching the kids get better over time and knowing they’ll be safe in the water. It suits my study schedule and it’s amazing to know I’m making a positive impact on kids’ lives.”

Ward concluded “the need is so great that we will support as many courses as required to right the shortage and get more children learning how to swim. It will also impact small business by helping swim schools operate at peak capacity again.”

Bookings are open for training programs in all states by visiting www.swimaustralia.org.au and clicking on the Become a Swim Teacher link.

Images: Brisbane student and swim teacher Amy McKitrick, pictured at middle with Swim Australia Chief Executive, Brendon Ward.

Related Articles

15th March 2021 - Increase in summer drownings prompts plea from Surf Life Saving Australia

10th March 2021 - Sunshine Coast Council’s migrant swim initiative set for 2021 program

10th March 2021 - Blacktown City Council partners with Royal Life Saving NSW to deliver new Swim Teacher course  

4th March 2021 - Life Saving Victoria announces more benefits for swim teachers

17th February 2021 - JUMP! Swim Schools report strong start to 2021

16th February 2021 - SwimDesk expands software functionality for swim schools

10th February 2021 - Swim Smooth app helps coaches aid stroke techniques and reduce injuries

5th February 2021 - World’s Largest Swimming Lesson to return in June

25th January 2021 - KidSport voucher initiative doubles and adds swimming lessons for 2021

22nd January 2021 - Rackley Swimming announces opening of 26th swimming school in Queensland

20th January 2021 - Blacktown Key Venues launches free adult swimming program

13th January 2021 - Brimbank Leisure Centres’ updated ‘Swim and Survive’ program caters for up to 1000 new students

31st December 2020 - VICSWIM launches 2021 Summer Kidz program

30th December 2020 - ARI NSW issues statement on child safety in aquatics and learn to swim

25th November 2020 - AUSTSWIM announces record number of teachers of swimming and water safety

23rd November 2020 - Royal Life Saving’s latest Keep Watch campaign highlights tragic drowning toll among children aged under 12 months

19th November 2020 - Eventbrite’s new research reveals peak demand for swim sessions and classes at reopened pools

16th November 2020 - Swim Safer Week aims to reverse decline in swimming lesson enrolments

6th October 2020 - Royal Life Saving concerned over significant fall in swimming lesson enrolments

30th July 2020 - Carlile Swimming Water Safety Advocate highlights value of swimming lessons and new Pro-Visual Publishing guide

9th June 2020 - Western Australian children return to swimming lessons

24th March 2020 - ASCTA/Swim Australia release Coronavirus guidance for swim schools

30th November 2019 - Royal Life Saving Tasmania delivers tailored swimming and water safety lessons for high-risk students

16th January 2019 - Parents urged to enrol children in vital Swim and Survive lessons

26th August 2016 - Swim Australia elects inaugural Board of management

15th June 2015 - Swim Australia backs the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson

4th November 2013 - Parents value swimming and water safety lessons above other out-of-school activities


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

TPEC Pool Enclosures

TPEC Pool Enclosures provide a large range of premium commercial and residential retractable swimming pool, spa and terrace enclosures throughout Australia, servicing residential, local government…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Recreation / Venues

 
 

Pico Play

Pico Play is a global leader in the planning, design, development and construction of world-class themed attractions and entertainment that deliver extraordinary and memorable experiences to millions…

read more

Attractions / Consultants / Design / Recreation / Tourism

 
 

Goplay Commercial Playground Equipment

Goplay designs and manufactures specialised playground equipment for indoor play centres, hotels, food chains, clubs and resorts. If our years of experience and dedication have taught us one thing,…

read more

Play

 
 

Otium Planning Group

Otium Planning Group is a contemporary sport and leisure consultancy providing services in planning, facility development, management and funding for the sport, recreation and leisure industries…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues

 
 

AUSFIT

Ausfit began in 1992, providing software services to the health and fitness sector including ClubWise, a fully hosted web-based product which combines state of the art club management software,…

read more

Billing / Finance / Fitness / Technology

 
 

Myzone

Email for trade enquiries: Enquiriesapac@myzone.org  Customer support desk - Click Myzone support or go to ‘help’ on myzone app to access live support. Myzone® is the leading…

read more

Fitness / Sport / Technology / Wellness

 
 

Summit Fitness

Summit Fitness Equipment is now part of NovoFit - see www.ausleisure.com.au/suppliers/novofit/

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Technology / Wellness

 
 

SLE WORLDWIDE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

SLE Worldwide Australia is a Managing General Underwriter specialising in insuring risks in the world of Sports, Leisure and Entertainment. Be it relaxing, playing, organising or watching sports,…

read more

Insurance / Venues

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business