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Western Australian aquatic centres report identifies industry labour shortages

Western Australian aquatic centres report identifies industry labour shortages
August 9, 2019

Aquatic centres in Western Australia are reporting a shortage of pool lifeguards and swim instructors according to a newly released report from the Royal Life Saving Society of Western Australia for the Leisure Institute of Western Australia (LIWA) Aquatics.

In an additional survey within their annual study, the Bigger, Better, Safer: Western Australian Aquatics Industry Report 2017/18 this year looked to gain an in depth understanding of employment shortages within the aquatics industry.

The report states "public swimming pools provide a range of employment opportunities with pool operator, pool lifeguard, swimming instructor and aquatic support staff positions available throughout the state (and) in 2017-18, there were approximately 4,729 staff employed within the WA."

It also advises of "little staff turnover and therefore little movement of LIWA accredited pool operators recorded" during the year.

By comparison to pool operators, it records a greater turnover of pool lifeguard staff with 22.4% allowing their qualifications to lapse in 2017/18 and 300 new pool lifeguards gaining new qualifications and entering the aquatics industry.

In relation to staff shortages, it noted "responses indicated that the Great Southern, Pilbara and Kimberley regions had the greatest shortage of pool operators. Similarly, the Great Southern, Goldfields, Mid-West and Pilbara regions reported the greatest shortage of pool lifeguards and the Kimberley, Pilbara and Goldfields regions the greatest shortages in swim instructors."

In conclusion, the report advised "the results highlight the need to address shortages of swim instructors, particularly in regional areas to ensure the availability of swimming and water safety programs in all regions.

"Whilst there are currently sufficient numbers of pool operators and lifeguards to operate facilities, there is a need to continue to recruit newly trained professionals to the industry to meet the flexible nature of these positions and for ensuring a number of suitable and high quality candidates when positions arise."

The 2019 LIWA Aquatics Annual State Conference and Trade Display is being held on 12th and 13th August in Fremantle.

Click here to view the Bigger, Better, Safer: Western Australian Aquatics Industry Report 2017/18.

Click here for more information on the LIWA Conference in the Australasian Leisure Management Industry Calendar. 

Related Articles

5th August 2019 - Attendances rise and water consumption falls at Western Australian aquatic centres

20th June 2019 - Armadale Fitness and Aquatic Centre named Western Australia’s Community Facility of the Year

29th March 2019 - LIWA Aquatics to mark 50th anniversary

10th December 2018 - Port Hedland council to take back management of aquatic, recreation and fitness facilities

9th December 2018 - Three WA facilities recognised as Waterwise Aquatic Centres

29th October 2018 - Riverton Leisureplex to be transformed into ‘community hub’

11th September 2018 - Belmont Oasis trains lifeguards of the future

16th December 2016 - Watch Around Water gets season launch

9th March 2016 - LIWA Aquatics to present new Watch Around Water ‘Facility of the Year’ Award

29th February 2016 - Record participants in Womens Only swim program at Cannington Leisureplex

5th November 2015 - Staff and skills shortage impacts tourism businesses

6th August 2013 - Report indicates leisure industry skills shortage

30th July 2013 - Aims to link Watch Around Water program with other anti-drowning initiatives

27th November 2012 - Beatty Park Leisure Centre celebrates 50th anniversary and outdoor pool reopening

15th July 2012 - Industry staff shortage looms as workers head to mines


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