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Help shape the future sport and recreation workforce

Help shape the future sport and recreation workforce
December 1, 2009

Service Skills Australia (SSA) has published a scoping report outlining its vision for a nationwide workforce development strategy for the sport and recreation sector, and is calling for industry feedback.

As Kit McMahon, SSA's General Manager explains "the sport and recreation industry needs to work together to ensure it has access to appropriately skilled staff in the future. This document is an important first step to achieve this.

"Earlier this year, Service Skills Australia, in liaison with the sport and recreation industry in each state and territory, identified the key issues, ideas and outcomes that would need to be reflected in a workforce development strategy for the industry.

"Industry agreed that the strategy should lead to people across industry being appropriately skilled, able and motivated to contribute to the growth and development of a productive and sustainable sport and recreation industry which enriches the wellbeing of the wider Australian community."

In February 2009, SSA released the Sport, Fitness, Community and Outdoor Recreation Environmental Scan 2009 - a research document developed for the industry by the industry that outlined the trends affecting the sport and recreation sectors now and into the future. The scan also set out the key goals and needs in the area of skills and labour. Consequently, a number of focus areas have been identified to form a framework from which to develop a robust workforce development strategy.

The framework was communicated to industry across Australia and further consultation resulted in a number of recommendations outlined in the new scoping report. Chief among these recommendations is the suggestion of what a successful workforce development strategy should look like.

The paper states that these indicators of success will include a clear set of goals on leadership at the sector and industry level and within business itself; a work environment that celebrates and draws upon the diversity and work preferences of a wide variety of participants; a workforce planning process that is robust, proactive and based upon sound principles and resources; an environment where providers are understanding of and responsive to sector needs, with strong partnerships existing between the parties; training that is valued by organisations and accessed by the working community at large; an environment where there is equity of opportunity for all those who work and participate in the sector, particularly volunteers; and a well trained and qualified community of workers keen and interested in developing a career in the sport and recreation sector.

Service Skills Australia is now calling for the sport and recreation industry to provide feedback on the recommendations outlined in the scoping paper. Specifically, it is asking for the sector to review and ratify the recommendations, identify how they can be implemented and establish the criteria for implementation. This may require consideration of matters such as priority, delivery timeframes, and the complexity and capacity of the sector to deliver. This feedback will enable Service Skills Australia to again work with the industry to develop a nationally-agreed workforce development strategy.

Service Skills Australia is the Industry Skills Council for the service industries. Skills councils are the recognised national bodies providing advice on industry training and skills development needs to government and industry.

Feedback can be submitted via an online form. Alternatively, written submissions can be sent to the Project Manager, Alastair Wilson, at email

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