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Skills Shortages hit Sport and Recreation

Skills Shortages hit Sport and Recreation
June 12, 2008

Australia is suffering from a lack of fitness instructors, sport coaches and pool life guards, particularly in rural and regional areas. This is one finding of Skills to participate, a research report released today by Service Skills Australia.

The 2007 study aimed to identify and investigate the effect of skill shortages on sport and recreation in NSW and recommend strategies to address the problem.

According to Service Skills Australia Chief Executive Jeanette Allen, "the study represents the latest intelligence on skills shortages in the NSW sport and recreation industry."

The survey confirmed that industry believes that there are more jobs than skilled labour available. The survey also found that a significant barrier to employing new staff was the availability of skilled or qualified applicants.

Allen adds "skill shortages have been exacerbated in sport and recreation because of recent industry growth, driven by increases in participation and physical activity, health programs and initiatives and the 'experience' economy."

The greatest skill needs identified in the survey were in coaching and instruction, and events management for the industry. Skill shortages were also found in coaching, communication, administration, and customer service.

The most effective strategies that emerged to resolve the shortages centred on the establishment of innovative partnerships between industry and training providers to deliver customised training solutions.

The report recommends that stronger links between industry and training providers are needed, and existing industry based training programs should be aligned to units of competence or qualifications from nationally endorsed training packages. A number of cross industry strategies for addressing skill shortages are also recommended including accelerated traineeships, increasing the use of workplace assessors, and more use of School Based Traineeships and VET in Schools programs.

Service Skills Australia has also launched the Children's Fitness Trainers project which fosters links between industry and training organisations, while addressing the shortage of fitness trainers who specialise in the delivery of exercise to children and young adolescents.

The full report can be viewed at www.serviceskills.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=675&Itemid=1862


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