National Guidance Research Forum Promoting evidence-based policy & practice in careers work

Active leisure and learning

(printable listing with all subcontent expanded in one view)

The Active Leisure and Learning sector includes five industries:

  • sport and recreation
  • health and fitness
  • playwork
  • the outdoors
  • caravans

In 2004, there were 576,000 people in paid employment in the sector, accounting for almost 2% of the UK workforce.  There is also an estimated 5 million volunteers in the sector.  Sector information

The sector will also have to recruit 85,000 annually to cope with replacement demands.  Sector information

The South East, Scotland, the North West and London are over represented in comparison to employment across all industries (not necessarily the highest levels) in the Active Leisure and Learning sector.  Regional and national dimension

The SkillsActive workforce is 60% female, and comprises a higher proportion of young people aged 16-24 years than the workforce as a whole (but few under 18 years will be employed because of regulatory requirements) and white.  Equal opportunities

Professional, associate professional and technical occupations, together with personal service and elementary occupations, are more important within the Active Leisure and Learning sector than in the whole economy. Occupations

Most higher education acceptances are on playwork and outdoors courses, but applications are highest for sports and fitness related courses.  Education and training


   

Sector information

This contains an overview of the sector as a whole, details future trends in employment together with skill gaps and workforce development issues.

SkillsActive is the Sector Skills Council for Active Leisure and Learning and includes five sub-sectors or industries:

  • sport and recreation
  • health and fitness
  • playwork
  • outdoors
  • caravans

Click here for more on early years education, care and playwork.  

Employment and future employment

In the UK, there are 576,000 people in paid employment in the sector, accounting for almost 2% of the UK workforce. 

  • England – 479,900 people, accounting for 83% of UK sector employment
  • Wales – 27,000, accounting for 5%
  • Scotland – 52,800, accounting for 9%
  • Northern Ireland – 16,300, accounting for 3%

In addition, there are over 5 million volunteers in the sector across the UK and much of the sector would find it difficult to operate without the help of unpaid staff.  An estimated further 1.3 million volunteers are needed.

There are 230,708 organisations throughout the UK in public, private and voluntary sectors.  82% of the workforce are employed in small and micro businesses.  In England, the sector has an estimated gross value added (GVA) output of £7.2 billion, 61% of which was produced by the sport and recreation industry.  The outdoors was the smallest industry creating £365 million of output.  Overall the Active Leisure and Learning sector accounts for 0.9% of total output in England.

89% of the workforce in England are employees and 11% self-employed, which is similar to the English workforce as a whole with 13% self-employed.  However, this can vary by industry.  For example the caravan industry has 16% self-employment.  The sector overall does have a significantly higher proportion of part-time workers – 52% compared to 26% across England as a whole.

Over the next 10 years, it is predicted that the sector will grow faster than the economy as a whole.  It is forecast that by 2014, employment levels in England will have increased by 100,000, an increase of 21%.  The sector will also have to recruit 85,000 annually to cope with replacement demand.

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – England 2005, Skills Needs Assessment – Wales 2005, Skills Needs Assessment – Scotland 2005 and Skills Strategy for Northern Ireland 2005

Keywords
Gross value added (GVA) is the difference between the value of goods and services produced and the cost of raw materials and other inputs which are used up in production.

Employment levels in the Active Leisure and Learning sector by industry in England, 2004

bar-chart

 Source: Skills Needs Assessment – England 2005, figure 3.2.2a.  Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour Force Survey.

Active leisure and learning industries

Sport and recreation

Sport and recreation means all forms of physical activity which aim at expressing or improving physical fitness and mental wellbeing.  The industry falls within the following Standard Industrial Classifications (SICs):

  • 9261 Operation of sports arenas and stadia
  • 9262 Other sporting activities
  • 9133 Activities of other membership organisations
  • 9272 Other recreational activities n.e.c.
  • 9304 Physical well-being activities
  • 0142 Animal husbandry service activities (exc. veterinary activities)
  • 8021 General Secondary Education

The sport and recreation industry gross value added (GVA) was an estimated £5.2 billion in 2004, which accounts for 0.6% of England’s output. 

There is considerable interest in the sports sector ranging from the impact of sport on the economy generally, to the regional economic impact of hosting large international sports events.  Sport is seen as a means to: engage the socially excluded; prevent young offenders from re-offending: and combat obesity.

Employment in the industry is estimated at 363,000 in the UK, accounting for 63% of the Active Leisure and Learning sector employment and 1.2% of total UK employment.  Industry employment is concentrated in the South East  with over 60,000 employees (17%), but there are also significant numbers in the North West and Scotland.   Wales and Northern Ireland have the smallest numbers accounting for 25,500 workers in total. Over the next 10 years, employment levels in England are expected to increase by 100,000 (21%).

Similar to the Active Leisure and Learning sector average, 89% of the industry workforce are employees and 11% self-employed.  However, 47% of workers are employed part-time, compared to 22% across all sectors in the UK.

Professional, associate professional and technical, personal service and elementary occupations are more important to sport and recreation than the economy as a whole.  Associate professional and technical occupations is the largest occupational group within the industry, representing 20% of the total workforce.   Compared with the UK workforce, managers and proprietors in hospitality and leisure services, agricultural trades (including grounds staff), leisure and travel service occupations together with elementary personal services occupations are also over represented. 

The sport and recreation workforce is predominantly female (54% female in England).  The industry has a much younger age profile (aged 16-24 years) than in the economy as a whole, but will be concentrated at 18 years and over because of regulatory requirements for some roles.  Ethnic minorities are under-represented in the industry: 95% of employees are white compared to 93% in the whole economy.

26% of the workforce has a Level 4 or 5 qualification, which is lower than the whole economy (29%).  31% of the workforce hold no or Level 1 qualifications, and 27% have a Level 2 qualification. 

Key drivers in the industry:

  • customer trends and increasing health awareness
  • increase in older customers with more leisure time, requiring low impact activities
  • globalisation and technology, limited to management of bookings
  • government policy increasing participation in sport
  • innovation in provision

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – England 2005 and Skills Needs Assessment – Sport and Recreation 2005

Keywords
Gross value added (GVA) is the difference between the value of goods and services produced and the cost of raw materials and other inputs which are used up in production.

Click here for more information on current education and training provision in sport and recreation

For employment levels by region and nation see:

Regional distribution of employment in the sport and recreation industry, 2004

bar-chart

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – Sport and Recreation Industry 2005, figure 3.4.1.  Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour Force Survey.

Health and fitness

The health and fitness industry is focused on the supervision of exercise and physical activity – either in an individual capacity or within a group – in a controlled environment.  This can be variously described to include the provision of facilities to encourage and promote physical activity and the general concept of promoting ‘wellness’.  There are a significant number of public leisure centres which also provide a fitness facility often within multi-sport facilities, plus there are facilities within educational establishments.  The industry falls within the following Standard Industrial Classifications (SICs):

  • 9304 Physical well-being activities
  • 9261 Operation of sports arenas and stadia
  • 9262 Other sporting activities
  • 9272 Other recreational activities n.e.c.
  • 8042 Adult and other education n.e.c.

The health and fitness industry gross value added (GVA) was £650 million in 2004, which is 0.1% of the whole UK output and 7.5% of the SkillsActive output.  Output in the industry is expected to slow with an annual growth rate of 4.3% over the next ten years, but it will significantly outperform that of both the Active Leisure and Learning sector and the whole UK economy.

UK employment in the industry accounts for 8% of the Active Leisure and Learning sector, with a total of almost 45,000 people in around 3,200 workplaces.  Industry employment is concentrated in the South East (17%), but the industry is growing fastest in Scotland.  Over the next 10 years, employment levels are expected to increase and forecast replacement demands will be 7,000 annually between 2005-2009.

Similar to the Active Leisure and Learning sector average, 42% of the industry workforce is employed full-time, 45% part-time and 13% self-employed.

The industry has a high turnover rate, partly attributed to, entrants having high expectations about the work which are not met.  New entrants and staff often lack experience so start in lower level roles and face low pay, shift work and limited career pathways.

Associate professional and technical, personal service and elementary occupations are more important to health and fitness than the economy as a whole.  21% of the health and fitness workforce are employed in personal service, which is significantly larger than for the whole economy.  Elementary personal service occupations are more than double that found in the UK workforce.

The workforce is predominantly female (54% female).  The majority of occupations are biased to women, particularly exercise to music instructors who are 88% female. The dominance of women in the industry is likely to increase in the future.  The industry has a much younger age profile than in the economy as a whole.  Ethnic minorities are under-represented in the industry: 95.4% of employees are white compared to 93% in the whole economy.

31% of the workforce hold no or Level 1 qualifications, but 70% believe that technical and practical skills are important to their job.  23% of the workforce has Level 4 or 5 qualifications, which is lower than the whole economy (29%).

22% of employers in the health and fitness industry have reported vacancies, of which  9% are hard-to-fill. Vacancies are the result of low number of applicants with the required skills.  41% of employers have one skills shortage vacancy.  Skills deficiencies are reported for team working, communication, technical and practical and customer handling skills.

Key drivers in the industry:

  • customer attitudes and expectations
  • increase in customers with more leisure time who are better informed and expect value for money
  • government policy increasing participation in sport and preventative healthcare
  • the introduction of customer relationship management  (CRM)
  • increase in the number of public-private investment or partnerships
  • the success of the Register of Exercise Professionals driving quality training and standards of conduct

Communication skills are the most important skill for the industry, whilst little importance is given to foreign language skills.  Team working, health and safety knowledge and customer service skills are also of importance.  Employers have reported that those working in the industry must be self-motivated and reliable.

Key priorities in the industry are to: increase attractiveness of the industry; develop career pathways; encourage professionalism and up-skilling; sustainable funding for training; and increase the diversity of the workforce.

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – England 2005 and Skills Needs Assessment – Health and Fitness 2005

Keywords
Gross value added (GVA) is the difference between the value of goods and services produced and the cost of raw materials and other inputs which are used up in production.

Click here for more information on current education and training in health and fitness.  

For employment levels by region and nation see:

Regional distribution in the health and fitness industry, 2004

bar-chart

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – Health and Fitness Industry 2005, figure 3.7.1(a).  Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour Force Survey.

Playwork

Playwork is the profession that facilitates children’s play outside the educational curriculum in their childhood and young adulthood years (ages 4 – 16 years).  Playwork takes place where adults support children’s play in settings that include: after school clubs, holiday playschemes, adventure playgrounds, parks, play buses and breakfast clubs.  Some professions within playwork may not be fixed to one site, for example play rangers, and some employees will not work face-to-face with children, for example, children’s services managers in local authorities.

Playwork falls within the following Standard Industrial Classifications (SICs):

  • 8010 Primary Education
  • 8532 Social work without accommodation
  • 9133 Activities of other membership organisations

However, SIC codes do not adequately define the playwork sector because playwork sits across several codes, making the use of SIC codes to identify the sub-sector in national data difficult.

The playwork industry gross value added (GVA) was £1.5 billion in 2004, which is 0.2% of the whole UK output.  The industry makes a significant social contribution towards improving the lives of children, building communities, improving health and education, plus reduces crime. 

UK employment in the industry accounts for 23% of the Active Leisure and Learning sector, with a total of 132,730 people employed, comprising:

  • England 110,330
  • Northern Ireland 4,460
  • Scotland 11,210
  • Wales 6,730

Over the next 10 years, employment levels are expected to increase by 1.5% annually.  On average between 2005-2009, there will be a replacement demand of 14,880 annually.

Playwork provision falls into the voluntary, statutory and private sectors.  Playworkers are mainly employed by voluntary or charitable organisations and it is estimated that volunteers account for 13% of the workforce.  Many playworkers undertake paid as well as voluntary jobs.  The workforce is predominately part-time or seasonal.  Holiday play settings are the main source of seasonal employment, but turnover is high as a result.

People can start work in the playwork sector without a qualification, but there are regulations in place that govern minimum qualification requirements of staff in some Playwork settings.  For example, in England, the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) have published Daycare Standards which say that at least half the staff working in a play setting with children aged under eight years must have a relevant Level 2 qualification and that the person in charge must have an appropriate Level 3 qualification.

Typical estimated ranges of pay (2003/2004) are:

  • £5-£7 per hour for someone starting with no experience
  • £6-£12.00 per hour for someone with some experience and training (e.g. Level 2/3 qualifications)
  • £8-£15 per hour for someone with experience and higher qualifications (Level 4/higher education) who is managing one setting
  • £13-£19 per hour from someone with experience (Level 4/higher education) managing more than one setting

People working in other capacities, such as development workers are usually paid according to local authority pay scales.

The workforce is predominantly female (95% female and 5% male) and there are less young workers in the sector than in the economy as a whole.  This varies significantly by setting as holiday playschemes have a higher proportion of male workers (18% male and 82% female) and a much younger age profile than the industry as whole. 

Playworkers generally have a high level of educational attainment, but their qualifications are not necessarily related to playwork.  50% of playworkers hold entry level training or a Level 2 qualification as their highest qualification in playwork.

Just over one third of employers have a hard-to-fill vacancy because of lack of interest in this type of job, a low number of applicants or unsociable hours.  29% of employers identified a skills gap in their workforce, including: team working; communications; and planning and preparing work.

Key drivers in the industry:

  • increased demand for quality services and staff by parents and carers
  • the need for more childcare provision to meet the needs of parents returning to work
  • emphasis on early learning
  • possibilities of marketing play provision online as access to and fluency in IT improves
  • government policy and regulatory frameworks driving developments
  • long-term sustainability as funding is problematic

Future skill needs:

  • playwork specific skills and qualifications
  • an understanding of the values and principles of playwork.
  • business and management skills: specifically leadership, partnership working, marketing and fundraising
  • more staff trained to Level 2 and 3
  • higher level qualifications e.g. foundation degrees for senior practitioners

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – Playwork 2005

Keywords
Gross value added (GVA) is the difference between the value of goods and services produced and the cost of raw materials and other inputs which are used up in production.

Click here for more information on current education and training provision in playwork.

The outdoors

The outdoors industry is diverse encompassing the ‘traditional’ areas of outdoor education, outdoor recreation and development training, and the more recently defined sub-sectors: explorations and expeditions and outdoor sport development.  The industry falls within the following Standard Industrial Classifications (SICs):

  • 9272 Other recreational activities
  • 5521 Youth hostels and mountain refuges
  • 9262 Other sporting activities
  • 9261 Operation of sports arenas and stadia
  • 5523 Other provision of lodgings n.e.c.
  • 8042 Adult and other education n.e.c.
  • 7122 Renting of water transport equipment
  • 2932 Manufacture of other agricultural and forestry machinery

Compared to the other industries, employers in the outdoors industry in England are more likely to have arranged training (72%).

In 2004, over 500 students entered higher education in the outdoors industry, an increase of 59% since 1999.  64% of those entrants were male.  The gender imbalance has widened during 1999-2004.  In 1999, 57% of entrants were males and  43% were females.  Entrants are also more likely to be over 21 years.

Over the next 5-10 years, a number of trends will affect the industry, including:

  • declining numbers of volunteers resulting from the litigation culture and the need for funding for training
  • potential restrictions in access to inland water and the countryside
  • industry concerns about overuse of the countryside by various groups of people impacting negatively on the physical condition of national parkland, lakes and woodland limited open access because of urbanisation

34% of employers have had one skills shortage vacancy.

Source: Assessment of Current Provision – England 2006 and Skills Needs Assessment – England 2005

Caravan industry

The caravan industry encompasses caravan manufacturing and services, caravan sales, and caravan parks.  The caravan industry is almost entirely commercial, with virtually no public or voluntary provision.  There is a predominance of small traders in the industry.  41% of caravan parks are run as partnerships, 39% as private limited companies, 15% are sole traders and 3% are membership organisations.  The industry falls within the following Standard Industrial Classifications (SICs):

  • 3420 Manufacture of bodies of motor vehicles
  • 5010 Sale of motor vehicles
  • 5521 Youth hostels and mountain refuges
  • 5522 Camping sites including Caravans sites
  • 5523 Other provision of lodgings n.e.c.

There are a total of 4,089 parks in the UK, which is expected to increase as demand for park homes increases in the future.  There are conflicting estimates on the number of people working in the industry, ranging from 25,500 to 90,000.  This is partly as seasonal employment increases numbers by an estimated 7% in the summer.  However, using data sourced from national statistics the number employed in the industry is 31,880, which is 5.5% of the Active Leisure and Learning sector and 0.1% of the whole economy.  It is estimated that 16% are self-employed as many independent parks are family owned and run. There has been little growth in the numbers employed in the industry and numbers are forecast to decline over the next ten years, but replacement demand will average 4,730 annually between 2005-2009.

59% of the workforce is male.   There is a concentration of people working in the industry in the middle age groups and a significant decline at retirement age.

The caravan industry gross value added (GVA) was £1 billion in 2004, which is 0.1% of the whole UK output and 12% of SkillsActive’s output.   

The industry is concentrated in the South West, East of England, South East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, and Wales.  The South West of England accounts for 16% of total employment in the industry.

The largest occupational group, representing 33% of the workforce, is managers and senior officials.  Over-representation of this occupational group, compared to the whole economy, is, however, typical of the Active Leisure and Learning sector.  Administration and secretarial occupations are underrepresented in the industry, but is similar to the figures for the whole economy.

40% of employers have vacancies and 57% of employers with vacancies reported that they are hard-to-fill.  Recruiting enough cleaners and housekeepers is a major challenge for the industry.  Hard-to-fill vacancies also exist for bar managers and staff, receptionists, wardens or assistant wardens, cooks and chefs. 

Recruitment difficulties are the result of a lack of applicants, few interested in the work and not enough applicants with the required attitude, motivation or personality. Skills shortages are reported by 39% of employers for customer service skills, maintaining safety and communication skills.

Future skills required in the industry include general IT and management skills.  Technical and practical, plus IT professional skills will be required to higher levels in the future.  54% of employers believe that the levels of skills required were increasing and being driven by new legislation and regulations, customer expectations and IT.

Key drivers in the industry:

  • consumer demands including customer expectations, the weather, media image of caravanning and the economy
  • IT developments and fluency enabling people to book online
  • government and local authorities driving licensing, planning and tourism
  • sales of UK caravans which have steadily increased over the last few years

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – England 2005 and Skills Needs Assessment – Caravan Industry 2005

Keywords
Gross value added (GVA) is the difference between the value of goods and services produced and the cost of raw materials and other inputs which are used up in production.

For employment levels by region and nation see:

Regional distribution of employment in the caravan industry, 2004

bar-chart

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – Caravan Industry 2005, figure 3.8.5.  Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour Force Survey.

Recruitment difficulties and skills gaps

Skills gaps affect 16% of establishments in the Active Leisure and Learning sector in England, which equates to 17,000 employees in the SkillsActive workforce with skills weaknesses.  Skill gaps exist where employers regard some of their staff as not being fully proficient to meet the requirements of the job. 

In England, the number of skill gaps exceeds the number of skill shortage vacancies reported by employers.  Skills gaps are similar to those reported for skill shortage vacancies and include: customer handling skills; communication skills; and team working skills. 

Across the UK, there is a shortage of applicants with:

  • communication skills (40% of establishments with a hard to fill vacancy)
  • team working skills (38%)
  • customer handling skills (33%)
  • technical and practical skills (28%)
  • problem solving skills (27%)

The sector is forecast to grow over the next 10 years by 21%.  Forecasts do not, however, predict significant changes to the profile of the workforce, or to the occupational structure or to qualification levels: suggesting more of a shift in the numbers required.

Employers in the sector are more likely to report that hard-to-fill vacancies are caused by aspects of the job such as: poor terms and conditions; and patterns of shift work.  Recruitment difficulties can be described by the following figures:

  • 19% of all establishments report vacancies
  • 8% of all establishments report hard-to-fill vacancies
  • 3% of all establishments report skill shortage.
  • 41% of establishments with vacancies report hard-to-fill vacancies
  • 35% of establishments with hard-to-fill vacancies report skills shortage vacancies

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – England 2005, SkillsActive regional fact sheets and Spilsbury Research/SkillsActive 2004 (from the National Employer Skills Survey 2004)


For further information on vacancies in the sector see:

Level of current vacancies, hard-to-fill and skill shortage vacancies by industry, 2003

table

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – England 2005, table 5.2.2a.  Data from the National Employer Skills Survey (2003).

N.B.  This data is limited as does not cover figures for Playwork.

Future skill shortages

There is some evidence of skills shortages in the sector including:

  • the industry is likely to need higher levels of management and business skills
  • instructors will have to become more highly qualified to give instruction in areas of GP referrals, cardiac rehabilitation and so on, improving the professionalism of service delivery when working as personal trainers
  • customer service and communication skills need to be improved – the industry needs to be perceived as more professional which will involve more specialised sales and marketing employees with improved customer service skills
  • the larger the employer, the more likely they are to report each of current vacancies, hard-to-fill vacancies and skill shortages, but a large proportion of actual vacancies are amongst the smallest firms

This suggests the sector needs a better trained workforce in the future, with more demand for well qualified personnel.

Source: SkillsActive regional fact sheets, Spilsbury Research/SkillsActive 2004 and Prospects website 2004

See Occupations for future specific occupational skills needs in the Active Leisure and Learning sector.

Data and charts

Links to the charts contained within this sector are listed.

Employment levels in the Active Leisure and Learning sector by industry in England, 2004
Bar-chart shows the numbers employed in the sector by industry including: playwork; health and fitness; sport and recreation; caravans; and the outdoors.  Figure taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – England (2005). Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour force Survey.

Employment and number of establishments in the sector by region, 2004
Table shows the regional distribution of establishments and employment levels in the SkillsActive sector compared to England.  Table taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – England (2005) using data from the National Employer Skills Survey (2003) and the Labour force Survey (2004).

Average salary by occupation, 2004
Bar-chart shows the average annual salaries of those working in the sector by occupation.  Chart taken from the SkillsActive/Leisure-Net Solutions Ltd. (2004) report summary.

SkillsActive workforce profile, 2004
Table shows the distribution of the SkillsActive workforce by gender, age and ethnicity compared to the UK economy.  Table taken from SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – England (2005).  Data from the 2004 Labour force Survey.

Further charts are available under the following headings:

Industry data

Employment levels in the Active Leisure and Learning sector by industry in England, 2004
Bar-chart shows the numbers employed in the sector by industry including: playwork; health and fitness; sport and recreation; caravans; and the outdoors.  Figure taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – England (2005). Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour force Survey.

Regional distribution of employment in the sport and recreation industry, 2004
Bar-chart shows the percentage of total workforce in the sport and recreation industry by region and nation compared to the whole economy. Chart taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – Sport and Recreation Industry (2005).  Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour Force Survey.

Regional distribution of employment in the health and fitness industry, 2004
Bar-chart shows the percentage of total workforce in the health and fitness industry by region and nation compared to the whole economy. Chart taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – health and fitness Industry (2005).  Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour Force Survey.

Regional distribution of employment in the caravan industry, 2004
Bar-chart shows the percentage of total workforce in the caravan industry by region and nation compared to the whole economy. Chart taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – Caravan Industry (2005).  Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour Force Survey.

Level of current vacancies, hard-to-fill and skill shortage vacancies by industry, 2003
Table shows the number and percentage of establishment with vacancies, hard-to-fill vacancies and skill shortage vacancies for the SkillsActive sector by industry.  Table taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – England (2005) using data from the National Employer Skills Survey (2003).

Employment across the North West by industry and sub-region, 2004
Table shows the numbers employed in the sector by industry (including: sport and recreation; health and fitness; playwork; and outdoors) and sub-region. Table taken for the SALSPA 2005 report.

Employment status of the North West workforce by industry, 2004
Table shows the numbers employed in the sector by employment status and industry (including: sport and recreation; health and fitness; playwork; and outdoors), together with the number of organisation in each industry by region.  Table taken from the SALSPA 2005 report.  Data are estimates based on the Annual Business Inquiry.

Employment levels in the Active Leisure and Learning sector by industry in Scotland, 2004
Bar-chart shows the numbers employed in the sector by industry including: playwork; health and fitness; sport and recreation; caravans; and the outdoors.  Figure taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – Scotland (2005).  Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour force Survey.

Active leisure and learning sector by occupation in Scotland, 2004
Table shows the percentage of the workforce by industry and occupation, number of organisations and employees.  Table taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – Scotland (2005).  Data from Glasgow Caledonian University (2004).

Employment levels in the Active Leisure and Learning sector by industry in Wales, 2004
Bar-chart shows the numbers employed in the sector by industry including: playwork; health and fitness; sport and recreation; caravans; and the outdoors.  Figure taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – Wales (2005). Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour force Survey.

Employment levels in the Active Leisure and Learning sector by industry in Northern Ireland, 2004
Bar-chart shows the numbers employed in the sector by industry including: playwork; health and fitness; sport and recreation; caravans; and the outdoors.  Figure taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – Northern Ireland (2006).  Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour force Survey.

Qualification level of the English workforce in Active Leisure and Learning, 2004
Table shows the percentage of the workforce by industry and qualification level, compared to the whole sector, the English economy and the UK economy.  Table taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – England (2005).  Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour force Survey.

Qualification level of the Scottish workforce in Active Leisure and Learning, 2004
Table shows the percentage of the workforce by industry and qualification level, compared to the whole sector, the Scottish economy and the UK economy.  Table taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – Scotland (2005).  Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour force Survey.

Regional data

Regional distribution of employment in the sport and recreation industry, 2004
Bar-chart shows the percentage of total workforce in the sport and recreation industry by region and nation compared to the whole economy. Chart taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – Sport and Recreation Industry (2005).  Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour Force Survey.

Regional distribution of employment in the health and fitness industry, 2004
Bar-chart shows the percentage of total workforce in the health and fitness industry by region and nation compared to the whole economy. Chart taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – health and fitness Industry (2005).  Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour Force Survey.

Regional distribution of employment in the caravan industry, 2004
Bar-chart shows the percentage of total workforce in the caravan industry by region and nation compared to the whole economy. Chart taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – Caravan Industry (2005).  Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour Force Survey.

Employment and number of establishments in the sector by region, 2004
Table shows the regional distribution of establishments and employment levels in the SkillsActive sector compared to England.  Table taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – England (2005) using data from the National Employer Skills Survey (2003) and the Labour force Survey (2004).

Employment across the North West by industry and sub-region, 2004
Table shows the numbers employed in the sector by industry (including: sport and recreation; health and fitness; playwork; and outdoors) and sub-region. Table taken for the SALSPA 2005 report.

Employment status of the North West workforce by industry, 2004
Table shows the numbers employed in the sector by employment status and industry (including: sport and recreation; health and fitness; playwork; and outdoors), together with the number of organisation in each industry by region.  Table taken from the SALSPA 2005 report.  Data are estimates based on the Annual Business Inquiry.

Employment levels in the Active Leisure and Learning sector by industry in Scotland, 2004
Bar-chart shows the numbers employed in the sector by industry including: playwork; health and fitness; sport and recreation; caravans; and the outdoors.  Figure taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – Scotland (2005).  Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour force Survey.

Active leisure and learning sector by occupation in Scotland, 2004
Table shows the percentage of the workforce by industry and occupation, number of organisations and employees.  Table taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – Scotland (2005).  Data from Glasgow Caledonian University (2004).

Employment levels in the Active Leisure and Learning sector by industry in Wales, 2004
Bar-chart shows the numbers employed in the sector by industry including: playwork; health and fitness; sport and recreation; caravans; and the outdoors.  Figure taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – Wales (2005). Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour force Survey.

Employment levels in the Active Leisure and Learning sector by industry in Northern Ireland, 2004
Bar-chart shows the numbers employed in the sector by industry including: playwork; health and fitness; sport and recreation; caravans; and the outdoors.  Figure taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – Northern Ireland (2006).  Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour force Survey.

Qualification level of the Scottish workforce in Active Leisure and Learning, 2004
Table shows the percentage of the workforce by industry and qualification level, compared to the whole sector, the Scottish economy and the UK economy.  Table taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – Scotland (2005).  Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour force Survey.

Qualification level of the Welsh workforce in Active Leisure and Learning, 2004
Table shows the percentage of the workforce by industry and qualification level, compared to the whole sector, the Welsh economy and the UK economy.  Table taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – Wales (2005).  Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour force Survey.

Qualification data

Qualification level of the English workforce in Active Leisure and Learning, 2004
Table shows the percentage of the workforce by industry and qualification level, compared to the whole sector, the English economy and the UK economy.  Table taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – England (2005).  Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour force Survey.

Qualification level of the Scottish workforce in Active Leisure and Learning, 2004
Table shows the percentage of the workforce by industry and qualification level, compared to the whole sector, the Scottish economy and the UK economy.  Table taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – Scotland (2005).  Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour force Survey.

Qualification level of the Welsh workforce in Active Leisure and Learning, 2004
Table shows the percentage of the workforce by industry and qualification level, compared to the whole sector, the Welsh economy and the UK economy.  Table taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – Wales (2005).  Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour force Survey.

Apprenticeship completions, 2004-2005
Table shows the number of sector Foundation and Advanced apprenticeship completed from October 2004 to September 2005 by industry.  Data provided by SkillsActive, May 2006.

Gender profile of Further Education students by industry, 2003/04
Table shows the distribution of male and female students on further education courses by industry.  Table taken from the SkillsActive Assessment of Current Provision – England (2006).

Activity of SkillsActive graduates in the UK
Table shows the number of graduates completing a SkillsActive related course (including full-time, part-time, voluntary and further study) by activity and industry. Table taken from the SkillsActive Assessment of Current Provision – England (2006) using data from HESA/SkillsActive.

Occupational data

Active leisure and learning sector by occupation in Scotland, 2004
Table shows the percentage of the workforce by industry and occupation, number of organisations and employees.  Table taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – Scotland (2005).  Data from Glasgow Caledonian University (2004).

Occupational profile of the Active Leisure and Learning workforce, 2005
Table shows the Active Leisure and Learning workforce by occupation compared to the whole economy.  Table taken from the Skills Needs Assessment – England (2005) using data sourced from the National Statistics.

Occupational profile of volunteers and paid staff, 2005
Bar-chart compares the occupational profile of volunteers and paid staff in the SkillsActive sector.  Chart taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – England 2005.  Data from the SkillsActive Sport, Fitness and Outdoors Employment and Skills Survey (2005).

Occupational vacancies in the SkillsActive sector, 2004
Table shows the percentage of vacancies, plus hard-to-fill and skill shortage vacancies by SOC2000 major occupational group in the SkillsActive sector.  Table taken from the SkillsActive Skills Needs Assessment – England (2005) using data from the National Employers Skills Survey (2004).

Regional / national dimension

Information on regional trends and differences, together with the trends in the home nations including Scotland and Wales

The regions with high levels of employment in the Active Leisure and Learning sector include:

  • South East
  • Scotland
  • North West
  • London

The regional distribution of establishments reporting vacancies shows that the North West (30%), North East (24%), East of England (23%) and South West (23%) have the highest proportion of establishments reporting each of the vacancies.  London has the lowest rate of vacancies (11%).

Skill gaps are most likely to reported by establishments in the North East (32% of establishments) and Yorkshire and Humberside (29%).  Establishments in London were least likely to report skills gaps (18% of establishments).

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – England 2005

Employment and number of establishments in the sector by region, 2004

table

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – England 2005, table 3.3b.  (1) National Employer Skills Survey 2003 (2) Experian (2005) using the 2004 Labour force Survey.

Regional information

Regional action plans for Active Leisure and Learning will be available from the SkillsActive website in Summer 2006.

South East

Approximately 73,500 people are employed in the South East’s sport and recreation which includes 5,400 self-employed people.  Employment in the sector accounts for 1.9% of the regional workforce.  16% of all jobs in the sector are in the South East.  There is estimated to be 947,800 volunteers working in the sector.  Annual growth in employment was 6.3% in 2002.

At a sub-regional level, employment is:

  • 18,300 Hampshire and Isle of Wight
  • 12,200 Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire
  • 11,100 Sussex
  • 11,100 Kent and Medway
  • 7,800 Berkshire
  • 7,700 Surrey

The region has 4,900 organisations in sport and recreation, with the highest numbers in Hampshire and Isle of Wight, and Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.  75% of businesses in the sector employ less than 10, compared to 85% across all sectors in the region.  Larger organisations in the region include professional football clubs, county cricket clubs and four formula 1 motor racing teams.  Golf and horse racing, together with a number of theme and leisure parks attract visitors.

Key statistics on the sector in the region:

  • 59.4% of the workforce are female
  • 52.2% of the workforce are employed part-time
  • jobs are expected to increase by 11,600 between 2002-2008
  • a high turnover rate is expected with 30% of current jobs needing to be filled up to 2008, equivalent to 22,100 jobs

19% of businesses have vacancies forming 2.7% of employment in the region.  Internal skills gaps are reported in 20% of sector businesses in the region which equates to 11% of the workforce.  Skills that need development include: customer handling skills; communication skills; and team working.

Source: SkillsActive regional fact sheet

North West

The sector generates £1.1 billion in annual value added to the North West.  49,900 people are employed in the sector, including 3,700 self-employed.  This accounts for 1.6% of the regional workforce and 10.9% of all sector jobs in the UK.  There is estimated to be nearly 797,300 volunteers working in the sector accounting for 83% of the total workforce.  In the future volunteers will require increased skill levels, knowledge, competence and professionalism.  Average annual growth in employment was 5% in 2002.

At a sub-regional level, employment is:

  • 15,500 Greater Manchester
  • 12,000 Merseyside
  • 11,500 Lancashire
  • 7,000 Cheshire and Warrington
  • 4,000 Cumbria

There are approximately 3,800 sport and recreation businesses units in the region.  67% of the businesses employ less than 10, compared to 81% across all sectors in the region.  Some of the well known companies operating in the region include: over 12 professional football teams; county cricket club; rugby league clubs; rugby union clubs; and Aintree and Chester race courses.  The growing infrastructure for the sector was developed by the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth games.

Key statistics on the sector in the region:

  • 54% of the workforce are female, which is expected to increase
  • 47% of the workforce are employed part-time
  • jobs are expected to increase by 7,900 between 2002-2008
  • a high turnover rate is expected with 30% of current jobs needing to be filled up to 2008, equivalent to 15,500 jobs

32% of employers are expecting employment levels to increase, whilst 5% forecast a decrease.  An estimated 9,000 new jobs will be available in the sector by 2010 and 16,000 jobs will need replacing. 

Occupational recruitment will include: coaches and instructors (33% of all recruitment); operational staff (25%); and non-managerial support staff (20%).  There are 130,000 active coaches in the region, both paid and voluntary, of which 4,000 work for local authorities.  There are more unpaid coaches than paid coaches.

30% of businesses have vacancies and 38% of all businesses had one hard-to-fill vacancy.  Internal skills gaps are reported in 24% of sector businesses in the region which equates to 13% of the workforce.  Skills that need development include: communication skills; team working and customer handling skills.

SALSPA, the Sport and Active Leisure Productivity Alliance, was formed in 2003 and brings together key public sector organisations to support the sector.  One of the organisation’s aims is to demonstrate the career routes and employment opportunities across the sector by emphasising the transferability of skills, career progression and the opportunities for all.

The strongest regional concentration of learners (19%) is in the North West with 35,000 learners in further education studying sport and recreation related courses.  21% of students achieving sports science first degree are in the region (2,650) and 885 other or higher qualifications.  Two universities in the region have a 5* rating for research in sports related subjects.

Source: SALSPA 2005 and SkillsActive regional fact sheet

For statistics on employment in the sector by region and indsutry see:

Employment across the North West by industry and sub-region, 2004

table

Source: SALSPA 2005, page 3.

Employment status of the North West workforce by industry, 2004

table

Source: SALSPA 2005, page 3. Data are estimates based on the Annual Business Inquiry.

London

Approximately 48,800 people are employed in sport and recreation sector, including 3,600 self-employed.  This accounts for 1.2% of the regional workforce and 10.6% of all sector jobs in the UK.  There is estimated to be 849,700 volunteers working in the sector.  Much of the employment in the sector is local authority based.

At a sub-regional level, employment is:

  • 12,600 East London
  • 12,200 Central London
  • 9,500 South London
  • 7,800 West London
  • 6,600 North London

In London, there are over 2,750 sport and recreation businesses, 70% of which employ less than 10.  Businesses are clustered in central and East London.  There are few organisations employing over 200 people.

Larger, well-known sector organisations in the region include the professional football and premier rugby clubs, and the county cricket grounds.  A wide range of sporting events are also held in the region and there are a number of major stadia and facilities.  Five English Institute of Sport centres are located in London. 

The 2012 Olympics in London will have a major impact on the infrastructure of the sector in the region.  A range of world-class facilities and training venues will be built for the event.  An estimated 9,000 jobs will be created, 3,000 of which will be in the East of London.  In addition, 70,000 volunteers will be required.  The redevelopment of Wembley stadium will also create employment opportunities and facilities to attract major sporting events.
 
Key statistics on the sector in the region:

  • 59% of the workforce are female
  • 46.2% of the workforce are employed part-time
  • jobs are expected to increase by 7,700 between 2002-2008
  • a high turnover rate is expected with 30% of current jobs needing to be filled up to 2008, equivalent to 14,600 jobs

27% of employers are expecting employment levels to increase, whilst only 1% forecast a decrease. 

Only 11% of businesses have vacancies, forming 1.7% of employment in the region.  26% of businesses with vacancies are finding them hard-to-fill.  These vacancies are the result of poor terms and conditions of job and the nature of shift work.

Internal skills gaps are reported in 24% of sector businesses in the region which equates to 13% of the workforce.

Source: SkillsActive regional fact sheet

East of England

Approximately 45,300 people are employed in the East of England’s sport and recreation sector which includes 3,300 self-employed people.  Employment in the sector accounts for 1.8% of the regional workforce.  9.9% of all jobs in the sector are in the region.  There is estimated to be 638,300 volunteers working in the sector.  Annual growth in employment was 5.3% in 2002.

At a sub-regional level, employment is:

  • 11,300 Essex
  • 9,900 Hertfordshire
  • 8,000 Suffolk
  • 6,500 Norfolk
  • 5,300 Cambridgeshire
  • 4,200 Bedfordshire and Luton

The region has 3,200 sport and recreation businesses, with the highest numbers in Essex and Suffolk.  72% of businesses in the sector employ less than 10, compared to 85% across all sectors in the region.  Larger organisations in the region include several Nationwide football clubs, county cricket clubs and the region is home to horse racing with major stables located in the region.  There are also a number of theme and leisure parks in the region attracting visitors.

Key statistics on the sector in the region:

  • 61.7% of the workforce are female
  • 57.2% of the workforce are employed part-time
  • jobs are expected to increase by 7,100 between 2002-2008
  • a high turnover rate is expected with 30% of current jobs needing to be filled up to 2008, equivalent to 13,600 jobs

23% of businesses have vacancies.  A high number of businesses with vacancies (60%) in the region reported them hard-to-fill.  Skills that need development include: team working; problem solving; and communication skills.

Source: SkillsActive regional fact sheet

South West

There are approximately 38,400 people are employed in sport and recreation sector in the South West of which 2,800 are self-employed.  Total employment in the sector accounts for 1.7% of the regional workforce and 8.4% of all sector jobs in the UK.  There is estimated to be 583,900 volunteers working in the sector.  46% of businesses expected employment to increase compared to 30% nationally, whilst 4% forecast a decrease. 

At a sub-regional level, employment is:

  • 12,700 Devon and Cornwall
  • 7,500 West of England
  • 5,900 Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole
  • 4,700 Wiltshire and Swindon
  • 4,100 Gloucestershire
  • 3,500 Somerset

There are over 3,000 sport and recreation businesses in the region of which 74% employ less than 10 people.  Devon and Cornwall, and the West of England have the highest number of businesses.  This is compared to 84% across all sectors in the region.  Larger organisations in the region include the Nationwide football clubs and county cricket grounds.  There are also a number of stadia and facilities attracting visitors.  Golf, horse racing and water sports are also popular in the region.  The English Institute of Sport multi-sport hub is based at the University of Bath.

Key statistics on the sector in the region:

  • 61% of the workforce are female
  • 56.3% of the workforce are employed part-time
  • jobs are expected to increase by 6,100 between 2002-2008
  • a high turnover rate is expected with 30% of current jobs needing to be filled up to 2008, equivalent to 11,500 jobs

23% of businesses have vacancies and 44% of businesses with vacancies report a hard-to-fill vacancy.  Internal skills gaps are reported in 24% of sector businesses in the region which equates to 10% of the workforce.  Skills that need development include: customer handling skills; communication skills; and technical and practical skills.

Source: SkillsActive regional fact sheet

Yorkshire and Humber

Approximately 35,500 people are employed in sport and recreation sector with a further 2,800 self-employed.  This accounts for 1.6% of the regional workforce, a similar proportion to those employed nationally.  8.3% of all jobs in the sector are in the region.  There is estimated to be nearly 588,200 volunteers working in the sector.  Annual growth in employment was 4.6% in 2002.

At a sub-regional level, employment is:

  • 16,000 West Yorkshire
  • 10,200 South Yorkshire
  • 6,000 North Yorkshire
  • 5,800 Humberside

There are 2,600 sport and recreation businesses in the region, with the highest numbers in West and North Yorkshire.  70% of the businesses employ less than 10, compared to 81% across all sectors in the region.  Larger organisations in the region include the football, rugby and cricket clubs, and those connected to horse racing.  There are also a large number of stadia and facilities, including a number of major theme parks. 

Key statistics on the sector in the region:

  • 61.6% of the workforce are female
  • 58.5% of the workforce are employed part-time
  • jobs are expected to increase by 6,000 between 2002-2008
  • a high turnover rate is expected with 30% of current jobs needing to be filled up to 2008, equivalent to 11,400 jobs

17% of businesses have vacancies, and 47% of these are hard-to-fill vacancies.   These vacancies are the result of poor terms and conditions of job and the nature of shift work. 

Internal skills gaps are reported in 29% of sector businesses in the region, which equates to 13% of staff in the region. Skills that need development include: communication skills; team-working; customer handling skills; technical and practical and problem solving skills.

Source: SkillsActive regional fact sheet

West Midlands

In total there are approximately 38,000 people employed in sport and recreation sector which includes 2,800 self-employed people.  Employment in the sector accounts for 1.5% of the regional workforce.  8.3% of all jobs in the sector are in the West Midlands.  There is estimated to be nearly 624,000 volunteers working in the sector.  Annual growth in employment was 7.5% in 2002.

At a sub-regional level, employment is:

  • 10,100 Birmingham and Solihull
  • 6,800 Staffordshire
  • 6,400 Black Country
  • 5,800 Herefordshire and Worcestershire
  • 5,700 Coventry and Warwickshire
  • 3,100 Shropshire

The West Midlands has 2,200 sport and recreation businesses, with the highest numbers in Staffordshire, and Herefordshire and Worcestershire.  69% of businesses in the sector employ less than 10, compared to 82% across all sectors in the region.  Larger organisations in the region include the professional football and cricket clubs.  Golf clubs, horse racing and motor sports attract visitors to the region.  There are also a large number of major theme parks in the region. 

Key statistics on the sector in the region:

  • 62.1% of the workforce are female
  • 55.2% of the workforce are employed part-time
  • jobs are expected to increase by 6,000 between 2002-2008
  • a high turnover rate is expected with 30% of current jobs needing to be filled up to 2008, equivalent to 11,400 jobs

18% of businesses have vacancies, and 52% of businesses with vacancies in the region are finding them hard-to-fill.  13% of staff in the region are not considered fully proficient.

Internal skills gaps are reported in 28% of sector businesses in the region, which equates to 13% of staff in the region. Skills that need development include: communication skills; customer handling skills; and general IT skills.

Source: SkillsActive regional fact sheet

East Midlands

In total there are approximately 33,500 people employed in sport and recreation sector which includes 2,500 self-employed people.  Employment in the sector accounts for 1.8% of the regional workforce.  7.3% of all jobs in the sector are in the East Midlands.  There is estimated to be nearly 494,300 volunteers working in the sector.  Annual growth in employment was 7.6% in 2002.

At a sub-regional level, employment is:

  • 8,900 Nottinghamshire
  • 7,500 Derbyshire
  • 6,800 Northamptonshire
  • 6,600 Leicestershire
  • 3,500 Lincolnshire and Rutland

The East Midlands has 2,600 sport and recreation businesses, with the highest numbers in Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire.  77% of businesses in the sector employ less than 10, compared to 82% across all sectors in the region.  Larger organisations in the region include the professional football clubs and the county cricket clubs.  Horse racing and motor sports are also located in the region.  The English Institute of Sport is based at Loughborough University.

Key statistics on the sector in the region:

  • 57.8% of the workforce are female
  • 55.3% of the workforce are employed part-time
  • jobs are expected to increase by 5,300 between 2002-2008
  • a high turnover rate is expected with 30% of current jobs needing to be filled up to 2008, equivalent to 10,100 jobs

16% of businesses have vacancies, and 21% of businesses with vacancies in the region are finding them hard-to-fill. 

Internal skills gaps are reported in 24% of sector businesses in the region, compared to 22% for England as whole.  Skills that need development include: customer handling skills; communication skills; and technical and practical skills.

Source: SkillsActive regional fact sheet

North East

Approximately 20,900 people are employed in sport and recreation sector in the North East, including 1,600 self-employed.  This accounts for 1.9% of the regional workforce, which is a higher proportion than the national average, and 4.5% of all sector jobs in the UK.  There is estimated to be nearly 300,000 volunteers working in the sector.  Much of the employment in the region is local authority based.

At a sub-regional level, employment is:

  • 9,900 Tyne and Wear
  • 5,600 Tees Valley
  • 3,100 County Durham
  • 2,100 Northumberland

There are over 1,000 sport and recreation businesses units in the region.  63% of the businesses employ less than 10, compared to 78% across all sectors in the region.  Larger organisations in the region include the premier football and rugby union clubs, and the county cricket ground.  Other professional sports in the region include: basketball; ice hockey; horse racing; and the Great North run.  There are also a large number of stadia and facilities. 

Key statistics on the sector in the region:

  • 57.5% of the workforce are female
  • 57.5% of the workforce are employed part-time
  • jobs are expected to increase by 3,300 between 2002-2008
  • a high turnover rate is expected with 30% of current jobs needing to be filled up to 2008, equivalent to 6,300 jobs

25% of employers are expecting employment levels to increase, whilst only 1% forecast a decrease. 

24% of businesses have vacancies.  These vacancies are the result of poor terms and conditions of job and the nature of shift work.  35% of sector vacancies in the region are skills shortage related, compared to 50% for England as a whole.

Internal skills gaps are reported in 32% of sector businesses in the region which equates to 9% of the workforce.  Skills that need development include: customer handling skills; communication skills; and problem solving skills.

Source: SkillsActive regional fact sheet

National information

Scotland

There are 52,800 employees in the Scottish  sport and recreation sector, accounting for 2.1% of all Scottish jobs and 9% of all UK employment in the sector.  An additional 150,000 volunteers also work in the sector and it is hoped this can be sustained by 2007.  43% of jobs (22,800) in the sector are part-time, 47% are full-time (24,600) and 10% are self-employed. 

Employment levels in the sector are forecast to increase to 63,000 by 2014, which is around 1.2% per annum.  All the industries forecast increased employment levels to 2014 with the exception of the caravan industry which is expected to decrease by 20%.

Scotland has approximately 3,150 workplaces in the sector, 77% of which have less than 10 employees.  In additional there are 13,000 sports clubs across Scotland run by voluntary committees.

The gross value added (GVA) output of the sector equalled £0.8 billion in 2004, 61% of which was from the sport and recreation industry.  Over the last 5 years, the average rate of growth of the sector has been 3.2%.  Output in the sector is forecast to increase further over the next ten years.

Workforce profile:

  • 60% of the sector workforce is female (28,300), compared to 48% in the overall Scottish workforce
  • 84% of those in playwork are female
  • 60% of the caravan workforce is male - the only male-dominated industry in the sector
  • the average age of the workforce is 35 years, which is younger than the Scottish average of 40 years
  • the number of those aged 45 plus are expected to increase to 2014
  • 98.3% of the Scottish sector workforce are white

25% of all employees are in elementary occupations.  Over the next ten years, the number of management, associate professional and administrative roles is predicted to increase.  Sports/community development, coaches and professionals’ jobs account for 39% of jobs in the sector, whilst 31% are operations roles.  75% of playwork staff are classified in sports/community development, coaches and professionals.

The distribution of qualification levels held by the sector workforce in Scotland is similar to the average for the whole Scotland economy.  However, there is a slightly higher proportion qualified to Levels 3, 4 and 5 than is average for the whole UK economy.

59% of all organisations report a skills shortage.  Skills gaps are often reported for soft skills, particularly as a high level of importance is given to communication, IT and initiative skills.  A lack of core skills is particularly evident among the under 25 age group.  Future skill requirements will be for customer service, basic IT, communication and child protection skills. 

Nearly one-third of employers have at least one hard-to-fill vacancy.  Vacancies are considered to be hard-to-fill because the unattractiveness of the job, a lack of financial incentives, plus the unsocial hours and shift work involved.  Roles that are the hardest-to-fill are sector specific and include: coaches, instructors, activity leaders and playworkers; plus operational staff

Key drivers in the Scottish sector include:

  • an increased health awareness
  • an increased demand for childcare and consequently playwork
  • growing  over 50s market with time and income looking for leisure experiences
  • increasingly higher customer expectations
  • IT development and arising opportunities for on-line training for sport and fitness programs
  • legislation and regulations
  • difficulty in recruiting new entrants as positions are generally low skilled and there are low pay entry-level positions

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – Scotland 2005 and Futureskills Scotland 2005

For more labour market information on the active leisure and learning sector in Scotland see the Caledonian Business School workforce development report (2004).  

Keywords
Gross value added (GVA) is the difference between the value of goods and services produced and the cost of raw materials and other inputs which are used up in production.

For more information on sector industries in Scotland, data on employment levels and the occupational profiles see:

Scottish industries in the Active Leisure and Learning sector

Playwork is relatively new in Scotland as it has never been a statutory provision and has, in the past, depended upon volunteers.  Some isolated communities in the Highlands and Islands can be excluded from accessing play opportunities.  There is a core of experienced workers who tend to be older, but as the industry is expanding rapidly there is an increase in inexperienced and unqualified staff.  Over 60% of the workforce hold childcare qualifications at the equivalent of SVQ Level 3 (SCQF level 6) or above.  A further 13% have qualifications below this level.  26% have no formal childcare qualifications but 40% of this group are working towards one.

The caravan industry contributed £80 million in Gross Added Value (GVA) output to the Scottish economy in 2004, but this has slowed over the last five years.  2,770 people are employed in the Scottish caravan industry, but this is expected to decline in the future.  An estimated 400 workers per annum will be required to meet replacement demands.

In the Scottish health and fitness industry, there are 149 clubs with a total 250,000 members, which is set to increase over the next few years.  Up-skilling will be required for those working in therapeutic exercise, other specialist roles, plus those working with older populations.   Skills shortages are reported for communications, team working, IT and numeracy.  There are low levels of pay and a lack of career progression in the industry, particularly for gym instructors.

The sport and recreation industry contributed £480 million in Gross Added Value (GVA) output to the economy in 2004, equivalent to 0.6% of the whole Scottish economy.  Annual growth for the industry is expected to be 2.2% per annum to 2014, which is inline with the Scottish economy growth rate. The industry employs 34,320 people, accounting for 9% of the UK sector workforce, which is expected to increase by 2.7% per annum until 2009 and then at a lower rate to 2014.   Leisure attendants, coaches and administrators are hard to recruit, particularly in rural areas.

The outdoors industry is small in Scotland with 2,480 employees, accounting for only 5% of employment in the Scottish Active Leisure and Learning sector.  15% of the workforce are self-employed, 45% are full-time and 39% part-time.  45% of the workforce are male, 55% female which is comparable to other industries in the sector, with the exception of playwork.  The industry has a relatively old workforce profile with 37% aged 45 years and over.  The industry contributes £40 million to the Gross Value Added (GVA) output.  Employment levels in the industry are expected to grow between 2004-2014.  Increasing levels of skills in customer service, basic IT and communication is expected in the future.

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – Scotland 2005, Skills Needs Assessment – Playwork 2005, Skills Needs Assessment – the Caravan Industry 2005, Skills Needs Assessment – Sport and Recreation 2005 and Skills Needs Assessment – Health and Fitness 2005

For more data on the Scottish Active Leisure and Learning sector see:

Employment levels in the Active Leisure and Learning sector by industry in Scotland, 2004

bar-cjart

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – Scotland 2005, figure 3.4.1a.  Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour force Survey.

Active leisure and learning sector by occupation in Scotland, 2004

table

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – Scotland 2005, figure 3.4.4a.  Data from Glasgow Caledonian University (2004).

Wales

There are 27,000 employees in the Welsh Active Leisure and Learning sector, accounting for 5% of UK sector employment and 2.1% of all UK employment.  46% of jobs in the sector are part-time, compared to 26% across Wales.  90% of the sector are employees and 10% are self-employed.  The largest industry in the sector is sport and recreation employing 56% of employment in the Welsh sector.

Employment levels in the sector are forecast to increase.  The sector will need to recruit 3,710 to cope with replacement demands over the next 5 years.  The sector attracts the highest number of volunteers.  Over the last 2 years, the level of volunteers has increased by 6%. Employment levels are expected to increase by 1.6% per annum over the next five year.

75% of workplaces in the sector have less than 10 employees.

The gross value added (GVA) output of the sector equalled £400 million in 2004, which accounts for 5% of the total UK GVA.  37% of establishments in the sector have reported increased turnover.  The average rate of growth of the sector has been 3.8%.  Output in the sector is forecast to increase further to 2007.

Workforce profile:

  • 59% of the sector workforce is female, compared to 47% in the overall Welsh workforce
  • 81% of those in playwork are female
  • 32% of the workforce is aged 45-59 years, which is the highest proportion
  • playwork has an older profile with 36% of the workforce aged 45-59 years
  • 99.7% of the Welsh sector workforce is white, compared to 98% in the whole Welsh economy

Personal service (22.4%), professional (13.3%), associate professional and technical (15.6%) occupations are more important within the Wales Active Leisure and Learning sector than in the whole Welsh workforce.  Secretarial and related occupations are slightly over represented within the workforce.  The largest growth will be seen in the number of personal service occupations.  Within the administrative group, there will also be an increase in the number of financial administrators at an average annual rate of 2.4% over the next ten years.  The number of teaching professionals will decrease between 2009 and 2014.

The distribution of qualification levels held by the sector workforce in Wales is similar to that of the whole Welsh economy:

  • 32% of the sector workforce is qualified to Level 4 and above, compared to 28% across whole Welsh economy
  • 30% have no or low level qualifications, compared to 32%
  • playwork is the most well qualified industry as 46% of workforce have Level 4 or 5 qualifications
  • 37% of the workforce in caravans have no qualifications

Sector-specific qualifications are believed to be in short-supply, but are required by the sector for regulatory and licensing purposes.  The number of workers at Level 2 and Level 3 categories will rise by 9%.

Skills gaps affect 15% of establishments in the sector, compared to 20% in Wales as whole.  Shortages are reported for customer handling, team working, technical and practical, plus communication skills.  Future skill requirements will be for team working and customer handling skills service, but technical and practical, together with communication skills will need improving.  There is also a greater deficiency for Welsh language skills in the sector (42%) than the whole Welsh economy (20%).

24% of employers have vacancies, 11% are hard-to-fill vacancies and 4% are skill shortage vacancies which are due to shortages of skills, experience or qualifications amongst applicants.
 
Key drivers in the Welsh sector include:

  • an increased health awareness
  • ageing population with time looking for more low impact activities
  • impact of globalisation and technology
  • government policy and regulatory framework aimed at encouraging participation in active leisure activities

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – Wales 2005

Keywords
Gross value added (GVA) is the difference between the value of goods and services produced and the cost of raw materials and other inputs which are used up in production.


For more information on sector industries in Wales and data on employment levels see:

Welsh industries in the Active Leisure and Learning sector

The profile of play and playwork in Wales has been advanced by the adoption of the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) Play Policy and the Implementation Strategy that is likely to be published before the end of 2005.  Access to play is one of the Assembly’s seven core aims for children and young people.

The caravan industry contributed £100 million in Gross Added Value (GVA) output to the Welsh economy in 2004.  Although the industry is important to the Welsh economy, a slower growth rate is expected in the future. 
3,320 people are employed in the caravan industry, but levels are expected to decline over the next 10 years. 

In the Welsh health and fitness industry, there are up to 9 clubs in each region, with the exception of South Glamorgan which has 20 clubs. Key occupational in the industry include: external fitness coaches; class instructors; GP referrals; receptions staff; centre assistants; and cleaners.  The lack of career progression is a significant problem and a high proportion of 24-25 year olds are leaving the industry.  IT is considered a basic requirement in the industry, but technical and generic skills are as important. 

The sport and recreation industry contributed £200 million in Gross Added Value (GVA) output to the economy in 2004, representing 50% of the Active Leisure and Learning sector output in Wales.  The industry is expected to grow over the next five years, but at a slower rate than currently. The industry employs 15,000 people, accounting for just over 50% of the sector workforce in Wales, which is expected to increase by 2% to 2009 and then by 0.4% per annum to 2014.   Managerial staff are hard to recruit and graduates do not have the right skills to work in the industry.

The outdoors industry is very small in Wales with 1,200 employees, accounting for 4.5% of employment in the Welsh Active Leisure and Learning sector.  17% of the workforce are self-employed, 43% are full-time and 40% part-time. The age profile and gender balance in similar to other industries in the country.  The industry contributes £20 million to the Gross Value Added (GVA) output.  86% of organisations in the Welsh industry have between 1-10 employees.  Employment levels in the industry are expected to grow between 2004-2014.

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – Wales 2005, Skills Needs Assessment – Playwork 2005, Skills Needs Assessment – the Caravan Industry 2005, Skills Needs Assessment – Sport and Recreation 2005 and Skills Needs Assessment – Health and Fitness 2005

For more data on the Welsh Active Leisure and Learning sector see:

Employment levels in the Active Leisure and Learning sector by industry in Wales, 2004

bar-chart

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – Wales 2005, figure 2.  Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour force Survey.

Northern Ireland

There are 16,300 employees in the Northern Ireland Active Leisure and Learning sector, accounting for 2.8% of UK employment in the sector.  The largest sub-sector in the country is sport and recreation (64%), followed by playwork (27%). 

20% of jobs in the sector are part-time, 64% are full-time and 16% are self-employed.  Levels of part-time employment is predicted to grow over the next 10 years.  16% of staff working in the sector are unpaid of voluntary.  The outdoors and playwork industries have higher proportions of voluntary/unpaid staff.

Employment levels in the sector are forecast to increase over the next 10 years, at around 1.9% between 2004-2009 and 0.7% between 2009-2014.  All the industries forecast increased employment levels to 2014 particularly for the health and fitness, playwork and outdoors industries.
 
17% of organisations in the sector are sole traders and 24% have fewer than 5 employees.

The gross value added (GVA) output of the sector equalled £191 million in 2004, 63.4% of which was from the sport and recreation industry.  Output in the sector is forecast to increase over the next 10 years.

Workforce profile:

  • 55% of the sector workforce is female, compared to 48% in the overall Northern Ireland workforce
  • 87% of those in playwork are female
  • 79% of those in the caravan industry are male
  • 28% of  the workforce are aged 45-59 years, raising to 38% over the next 10 years
  • 6% of the workforce are 60 years plus
  • 91% of the sector workforce are white
  • less than 1% of the workforce are registered disabled

23% of all employees are in personal service occupations.  Over the next ten years, the number of managerial and secretarial occupations will increase 2.6% annually.  The number of skilled trades occupations is expected to decrease over the same period.

The distribution of qualification levels held by the sector workforce is similar to the average for the whole Northern Ireland economy.  A high proportion of the workforce have Level 4 and 5 qualifications (37%), compared to 30% in the whole Northern Ireland economy.  A relatively small proportion of the sector workforce are qualified to Levels 1 and 2, or have no qualifications.

21% of organisations in the sector have vacancies compared to 16% in the whole Northern Ireland.  The health and fitness industry are most likely to have vacancies.  13% of organisations in the sector reported hard-to-fill vacancies, whilst 3% reported skill shortage vacancies.  These vacancies are the result of a low number of applicants with required skills and a general lack of people interested in the work.  13% of all organisations report internal skills gaps.  Skills gaps are reported for planning and preparing work, specific technical skills, team working, communication and maintaining safety, together with management skills.

Key drivers in the Northern Ireland sector include:

an increased health awareness, particularly regarding obesity and disease

an increased demand in adventure tourism

declining fertility rates may affect the demand for playwork, but may be offset by increasing opportunities for children

growing  over 50s market with time and income looking for leisure experiences

IT development and increased on-line booking

legislation and regulations

Source: Skill Needs Assessment – Northern Ireland 2006

To read more about SkillsActive’s response to the Skills Strategy for Northern Ireland (2005) see the consultation response.

Keywords
Gross value added (GVA) is the difference between the value of goods and services produced and the cost of raw materials and other inputs which are used up in production.

For more information on sector industries in Scotland, data on employment levels and the occupational profiles see:

Northern Ireland industries in the Active Leisure and Learning sector

The sport and recreation industry contributed £121 million in Gross Added Value (GVA) output to the economy in 2004, representing 63% of the Active Leisure and Learning sector output in Northern Ireland.  The industry is expected to grow in the future.  The industry employs 10,490 people, accounting for 64% of the sector workforce in Northern Ireland.  Over the next 5 years, employment is expected to grow by 0.9%.

Playwork is a relatively new sector in Northern Ireland and is not seen as a distinct profession from other childcare sectors.  It has a low in status and employers can not get staff with playwork qualifications and so accept early year qualifications.  New registration arrangements are planned and a number of policy initiatives are impacting on the sector.

In the health and fitness industry, employers in Northern Ireland have found it hard-to-fill casual/part-time posts particularly for leisure attendants and receptionists. Northern Ireland had fewer than 1,000 health and fitness workers in 2004. There is an oversupply of graduates and a lack of candidates with experience.  Skills lacking in the industry are interpersonal, communication, IT and generic skills. Limited and unclear career pathways are a particular barrier in the industry.  The Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) is seen as a potential solution to standardising the industry.

The caravan industry contributed £18 million in Gross Added Value (GVA) output to the Northern Ireland economy in 2004.  The industry has been unable to grow as no new recreational land has been set aside for new or additional caravan parks. The industry employs the smallest proportion of the caravan industry workforce (590), accounting for 2% of the workforce.  Over the next ten years, employment is expected to grow and replacement demand is estimated to be 90 new workers each year.

The outdoors industry is the smallest of the Active Leisure and Learning sector in Northern Ireland.  It accounts for 3.3% of employment in the Northern Ireland Active Leisure and Learning sector, contributing £6 million to the Gross Value Added (GVA) output.  62% of the workforce are male, 38% female which is comparable to other industries in the sector, with the exception of playwork. Employment levels in the industry are expected to grow between 2004-2014.

Source: Skill Needs Assessment – Northern Ireland 2006, SkillsActive website 2006, Skills Needs Assessment – Health and Fitness 2005, Skills Needs Assessment – the Caravan Industry 2005, Skills Needs Assessment – Sport and Recreation 2005 and Skills Needs Assessment – Playwork 2005

For more data on the Northern Ireland Active Leisure and Learning sector see:

Employment levels in the Active Leisure and Learning sector by industry in Northern Ireland, 2004

bar-chart

Source: Skills Needs Assessment - Northern Ireland 2006, figure 3.2.2. Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour Force Survey.

Occupations

Information and trends on sectoral occupations.

The diversity of the sector means that it contains a vast range of occupations; everything from personal trainers to activity leaders, and play assistants to leisure centre managers.

The occupation structure of the sector is comprised of:

  • 13% professionals, compared to 11.4% across the whole economy
  • 11.9% personal service staff, compared to 5.1%
  • 14.3% elementary occupations, compared to 11.8%

Professional, associate professional and technical, together with personal service and elementary occupations are more important within the Active Leisure and Learning sector than in the whole economy.

The highest proportion of vacancies, both hard-to-fill and skills shortage, are for personal service and elementary occupations.

The volunteer workforce in the sector work primarily as coaches, teachers, instructors and activity leaders, but also include playworkers and members of voluntary committees in the playwork industry.

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – England 2005

Occupational profile to the active leisure and learning workforce, 2005

table

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – England 2005, table 3.4.2.  Data from Experian (2005) using data sourced from the National Statistics.

For more data on the occupational profile of the sector workforce see:

Occupational profile of volunteers and paid staff, 2005

bar-chart

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – England 2005, table 3.5b.  Data from the SkillsActive Sport, Fitness and Outdoors Employment and Skills Survey (2005).

Occupational vacancies in the SkillsActive sector, 2004

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – England 2005, table 5.2.3.  Data from the National Employers Skills Survey (2004).

Occupational skill gaps

Managers and senior officials mostly lack management skills (63%), and sales staff customer handling skills (66%) and communication skills (61%).

Personal service occupations are important in the sector as coaches and instructors have the main contact with members or customers.  The relationship between instructor and participant is recognised as one of the most important components for sector organisations in achieving participation, business targets and customer satisfaction.  These occupations have the highest levels of skill deficiency for:

  • customer handling skills (79%)
  • communications skills (77%)
  • problem solving skills (66%)
  • technical and practical skills (49%)
  • management skills (49%)

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – England 2005 (covering sport, fitness and the outdoors)

Sector earnings

Data from the 2003 New Earnings survey shows that:

  • the average annual salary for full-time leisure and sports managers was £26,300
  • sports coaches, instructors and officials earn an average of £24,800 per annum
  • fitness instructors and sports and leisure assistants both earn around £15,000

63% of the sector’s workforce earns less than £20,000 and 15% earn less than £10,000.  Males in the sector earn more than females in the same job, but it is suggested that males are better qualified than their female counterparts.

Bonuses range from £500 upwards, but in general it is equivalent to 3% of the basic salary in the sector.  In 2004, pay increases were more likely to be received by employees in the public sector than the private.

Source: SkillsActive regional fact sheets and SkillsActive/Leisure-Net Solutions Ltd. 2004

For more information on pay in the industries go to sector information.

For average salary by occupation see:

Average salary by occupation, 2004

Future trends in skills

For leisure and personal service occupations, the required current and future skills are:

  • communication skills
  • customer handling
  • team working
  • problem solving skills

In elementary administration and service occupations the required current and future skills are:

  • customer handling
  • team working
  • technical and practical skills
  • communication skills

Notable is the low level of both general and professional IT skills required.  In elementary administration and service occupations IT skills are not expected, which is a requirement that will change within the next years. However, in leisure and personal service occupations where more change is anticipated, it is expected that foreign language skills and general IT user skills are likely to increase.

There is some evidence of skills shortages in the sector.  Future trends include:

  • the industry is likely to need higher levels of management and business skills
  • instructors will have to become more highly qualified to give instruction in areas of GP referrals, cardiac rehabilitation and so on, improving the professionalism of service delivery when working as personal trainers
  • customer service and communication skills need to be improved – the industry needs to be perceived as more professional
  • specialised sales and marketing employees with improved customer service skills

This suggests that the sector needs a better trained workforce in the future, with increased demand for well qualified personnel.

Source: Spilsbury Research/SkillsActive 2004

Occupational roles and sources of information

The SkillsActive website as several case studies of those working in the sector highlighting the duties, responsibilities, earnings and advice for those thinking about joining the sector.  Selected career profiles available include: sport and recreation coaching coordinator; recreation administrator; health and fitness product manager; play centre manager and caravan park health and safety manager.

The website also includes profiles of Advanced Apprenticeships in Sporting Excellence and the graduate Apprenticeship in the outdoor sector.  Careers information on work in the different industries in the sector is also available.

A variety of key roles in the Active Leisure and Learning sector are identified by Prospects and detailed information is available.  Some selected examples include: fitness centre manager; outdoor pursuits manager; sports administrator; sports coach/instructor; and sports development officer.  For information on these roles and others in the sector go to the Prospects website case studies

The learndirect website also has detailed occupational profiles for the Sport, Leisure and Tourism sector.  These profiles include information on entry points, training, working environment, employment opportunities and expected annual salary.

Equal opportunities

Key information on equal opportunity issues specific to the sector.

Gender

The SkillsActive workforce has a high proportion of women working in the sector:

  • 58% of the workforce in England is female
  • 59% in Wales
  • 60% in Scotland
  • 55% in Northern Ireland

Across the industries the gender balance varies: playwork is 86% female; the caravan industry is 64% male.

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – England 2005

Age

The workforce has a higher proportion of young people aged 16 -24 (25%) than the workforce across the UK (14%).  These will, however, be concentrated at 18 years and over as regulations and licensing requirements discourage the employment of those aged under 18 years.  However, this can vary by sub-sector:

  • the sport, fitness and outdoors sub-sectors have a much younger profile to that of the other sectors and conversely,
  • playwork and the caravan industry are relatively older.

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – England 2005

Ethnicity

The workforce is predominantly drawn from white ethnic groups (95%), which is similar to employment across the UK (93%).
 
Source: Skills Needs Assessment – England 2005

SkillsActive workforce profile, 2004

table

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – England 2005, table 3.4.1.  Data from the 2004 Labour Force Survey.

Disability

There seems to be little or no data on those working in the sector with disabilities.

In Northern Ireland, less than 1% of the Active Leisure and Learning sector are registered disabled.

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – Northern Ireland 2006

Education and training

Education and training information and issues including work-based learning, apprenticeships, vocational qualifications, and further and higher education courses.

Qualification level of sector

The distribution of qualification attainment in the SkillsActive sector is very similar to that seen across the whole-England economy:

  • 30% are qualified to Level 4 and above, 29% across all sectors of the economy
  • 29% have below Level 2 qualifications, the same as for England as a whole

However, there needs to be a distinction between general levels of qualifications and sector-specific qualifications.  Sector-specific qualifications are believed to be in short supply, but are required by the industry for regulatory and licensing purposes.

Playwork is the most well qualified sector, as 47% of the workforce have Level
4 or 5 qualifications, and only 21% have no or Level 1 qualifications.  However, this data is misleading as the industry is dominated by primary education where the workforce is qualified to a high level.  There is a notable gap in Level 2 and 3 qualified individuals in Playwork and there is a shortage of people with playwork specific qualifications.

The health and fitness workforce is comparatively poorly qualified, as more workers are qualified to Levels 1 or 2, or have no qualifications, than in any of the other part of the sector.  Level 2 is the industry accepted minimum qualification for Fitness Instructors and Exercise to Music Teachers.

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – England 2005

For qualification level of the sector workforce in England, Scotland and Wales see:

Qualification level of the English workforce in Active Leisure and Learning, 2004

table

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – England 2005, table 5.1.  Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour Force Survey.

Qualification level of the Scottish workforce in Active Leisure and Learning, 2004

table

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – Scotland 2005, table 5.1.1a.  Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour Force Survey.

Qualification level of the Welsh workforce in Active Leisure and Learning, 2004

table

Source: Skills Needs Assessment – Wales 2005, table 7.  Data from Experian (2005) using the Labour Force Survey.

Vocational qualifcations

In 2004, there were 17,500 S/NVQs in the Active Leisure and Learning sector with 9,000 certifications.

The UKCC initiative is leading National Governing Bodies in the sector to develop core coaching skills modules into Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications to make them more transferable within sport.  The operational and coaching/instructing/activity leading roles all require at a minimum either the Level 2 or 3 NVQ/ Fitness/ NGB Coaching qualifications or other technical qualifications.  Specialist and National Governing Body coaching and fitness related qualifications are valued by employers as improve participant skills.  There is widespread support from employers for the UK Coaching Certificate from the sector and individual applicable sub-sectors.

Source: Assessment of Current Provision – England 2006

Apprenticeships and work-based learning

The Apprenticeship framework contains occupational pathways in key sector areas including: 

  • health and fitness
  • coaching
  • playwork
  • the outdoors
  • facility operations and management

The mandatory outcomes for completion lead to a Level 2 or Level 3 S/NVQ, some Key Skills awards, a Technical Certificate and other industry-relevant skills.

The Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) responds to the need for talented youngsters to train and improve in their chosen sport while also gaining vocational or academic qualifications.  This is to ensure these young people have alternative employment opportunities if they do not succeed in their performance related pathway.

Sixty-nine work based learning qualifications from twelve awarding bodies were identified in the sector, but none were identified in the caravan industry.  The majority of the work based learning provision is within health and fitness, and sport and recreation at NVQ Levels 2 and 3.  There is, however, limited provision.

In Scotland, there were a total of 544 apprenticeships in Active Leisure and Learning in 2003/04, an increase of over one third.  75% of the apprenticeships were Skillseekers and 25% were Modern Apprenticeships. Overall, males outperformed females with an achievement rate of 65% compared to 41%.  Females only performed better in  playwork and did not perform well in fitness with a 31% achievement rate.

Source: Assessment of Current Provision – England 2006 and Skills Active regional fact sheet

For data on apprenticeship completions see:

Apprenticeship completions, 2004-2005

table

Source: Data provided by SkillsActive, May 2006

Further education and CoVES

There are a wide range of Further Education college-based courses in areas such as sport science and fitness instruction.  In 2003/04, over 490 separate qualifications from 81 awarding bodies were identified across the sector

The majority (96%) of those taking academic qualifications are aged under 19. However, the demographic for technical and not accredited qualifications is much older with 38% of students studying technical and 46% of students studying not accredited qualifications were aged over 24.

83% of students are aged under 25 years which is similar to student profiles for sport and recreation, and the outdoors. In caravans, playwork, plus health and fitness, there is an older age profile of students. On health and fitness courses, 40% of students are aged 25 years and over.

10% of the student population on SkillsActive course are from ethnic minority groups.  63% of students on sector related qualifications are male.

There are currently 9 Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVES) in sport, fitness, leisure services, coaching, early years and playwork. CoVEs in the sector are located at: College of West Anglia; Dearne Valley College; Hopwood Hall College; Loughborough College; Richmond upon Thames and Kinston College; SEEVIC College; Sussex Downs College; North Hertfordshire College; and Doncaster College.  SkillsActive is designing the criteria for the future recognition of CoVEs and how they will support the broader agenda for Further Education reform.

In Scotland, there were a total of 18,138 enrolments for Active Leisure and Learning courses in 2003/04.  Enrolments on these courses comprise an even male to female ratio, but playwork has 90% females whilst outdoors and caravans have a majority
of males (76% and 68% respectively).

Source: Assessment of Current Provision – England 2006, data provided by SkillsActive May 2006 and Skills Active regional fact sheet

For the gender profile of further education students see:

Gender profile of Further Education students by industry, 2003/04

Higher education qualifications

Higher-level qualifications are available at undergraduate and postgraduate level.  These include degrees in subject areas such as physical education, sports development, sports coaching, sport science and physiology and sport and recreation management.

In 2004, one in five (18%) of the 81,000 higher education applications in England onto SkillsActive courses were accepted.  By industry the number of entrants varies, including:

  • 11,561 on sport and recreation courses
  • 3,897 on health and fitness courses
  • 5,25 on the outdoors courses
  • 78 on playwork courses

Most higher education acceptances are on playwork and outdoors courses, but applications are highest for sports and fitness related courses.

However, there were over 1,550 entrants on coaching courses in the UK in 2004.  The number of applications on coaching courses has doubles in the last five years and there has been a 145% increase in acceptances since 1999.  The gender imbalance has remained unchanged with approximately seven in ten entrants who are male.

In Scotland, one in five applicants were also accepted onto higher education courses.  However, there are currently no higher education qualifications available in playwork or the caravan industry.  In 2004, there was an increase of 78% for acceptances onto sport and recreation courses and a higher proportion from men (7 in 10 entrants).

Graduate Apprenticeship, to be re-launched in the future, will be designed to act as a Higher Education and employment bridging programme that develops the occupational competence required by employers.  A foundation degree has been agreed and will be available in the future.

Source: Assessment of Current Provision – England 2006 and Assessment of Current Provision – Scotland 2006

For data on graduates on Active Leisure and Learning related courses see:

Activity of SkillsActive graduates in the UK

table

Source: Assessment of Current Provision – England 2006, table 5.5c. Data from HESA/SkillsActive.

Research

A list of recent research publications which is intended to be a starting for those wishing for more detail on the sector.

There is much academic interest in a wide range of sport-related issues. Some of the current research focuses on:

  • professionalism and continuing professional development
  • promoting the professional athlete
  • governmental policy and legislation
  • dimensions of equal opportunity

Sources

icon for content type Beale and Jacobs (2004) Beale, A.V. and Jacobs, J.S. (2004) ‘Beyond the Professional Athlete: Introducing Middle School Students to Sports Related Occupations’, Journal of Career Development 31(2): 111-124.
icon for content type Houlihan (2005) Houlihan, B. (2005) ‘Public Sector Sport: Policy Developing a Framework for Analysis’, International Review for the Sociology of Sport (2): 163-185.
icon for content type Keay (2005) Keay, J. (2005) ‘Developing the physical education profession: new teachers learning within a subject-based community’, Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy 10(2): 139-157.
icon for content type Kurtzman and Zauhar (2006) Kurtzman, J. and Zauhar, J. (2006) ‘The emerging profession – Sports Tourism Management’, Journal of Sport Tourism 10(1): 3-14.
icon for content type Pascual (2006) Pascual, C. (2006) ‘The initial training of physical education teachers - In search of the lost meaning of professionalism’, Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy 11(1): 69-82.
icon for content type Scraton, Caudwell and Holland (2005) Scraton, S., Caudwell, J. and Holland, S. (2005) ‘Bend it like patel’: Centring ‘Race’, Ethnicity and Gender in Feminist Analysis of Women’s Football in England International Review for the Sociology of Sport 40(1): 71-88.

Archived sources

A list of older resources.
icon for content type Collins (2002) Collins, M. (2002) Sport and Social Exclusion. London: Routledge.
icon for content type Eley (2002) Eley, D. (2002) Youth Sport Trust Millennium Volunteers – Year Two Final Report. Loughborough: Institute of Youth Sport.
icon for content type Grattan and Henry (2001) Gratton, C. and Henry, I.P. (2001) Sport in the City: The Role of Sport in Economic and Social Regeneration. Routledge: London.
icon for content type Houlihan (2001) Houlihan, B.M. (2001) ‘Citizenship, Civil Society and the Sport and Recreation Profession’, Managing Leisure 1(14): 1-14 .
icon for content type Viallon, Camy, and Collins (2003) Viallon, R., Camy, J. and Collins, M.F. (2003) ‘The European Integration of a New Occupation, the Training and Education Strategies of National Professional Organizations: The Case of the Fitness Sector in France and the United Kingdom’, Managing Leisure 8(2): 85-96.
icon for content type Weed (2003) Weed, M.E. (2003) ‘Why the Two Won't Tango: Explaining the Lack of Integrated Policies for Sport and Tourism in the UK’, Journal of Sport Management 17(3): 258-283 .
icon for content type Weed and Bull (2003) Weed, M.E. and Bull, C.J. (2003) Sports Tourism: Participants, Policy and Providers. Oxford: Elsevier.

Discussion points

Thought-provoking and challenging questions to start discussions.
  1. What are the future skill needs of the Active Leisure and Learning sector and what part can careers guidance play in identifying these skills?
  2. How can careers guidance develop and promote good practice in equal opportunities in the Active Leisure and Learning sector?
  3. What is the role of careers guidance in developing and addressing the priorities of workforce development in the Active Leisure and Learning sector?

Sector summary: Active leisure and learning

This summary gives a brief overview of the key trends in the sector.

SkillsActive is the Sector Skills Council for Active Leisure and Learning which and includes five industries:

  • sport and recreation
  • health and fitness
  • playwork
  • the outdoors
  • caravan indsutry

In the UK, there are 576,000 people in paid employment in the sector, accounting for almost 2% of the UK workforce, across 230,708 public, private and voluntary organisations.  There are also an estimated 5 million volunteers working in the sector.

It is forecast that by 2014, employment levels in England will have increased by 100,000, an increase of 21%.  The sector will also have to recruit 85,000 annually to cope with replacement demand.

The regions with high levels of employment in the Active Leisure and Learning sector include: South East (73,500); Scotland (52,800); North West (49,900); and London (48,800).  The majority of employers across the regions expect employment levels to increase in the future.  The North East with 20,900 employees has the smallest sector workforce in the UK.

The diversity of the sector means that it contains a vast range of occupations; everything from personal trainers to activity leaders and play assistants to leisure centre managers.

There is some evidence of skills shortages and likely future trends include the need for higher levels of management and business skills together with greater customer service and communication skills.

The SkillsActive workforce has a high proportion of women and young people (aged 16 -24).  This is however misleading as few people under 18 years will be employed because of regulatory requirements.  The workforce is predominantly drawn from white ethnic groups (95%).

One in five (18%) of the 81,000 higher education applications onto SkillsActive courses were accepted.  There are a wide range of further education college-based courses in areas such as sport science and fitness instruction as well as general courses in each of the Active Leisure and Learning industries.  83% of students are aged under 25 years.

There is much academic interest in a wide range of sport-related issues.  Some of the current research focuses on:

  • professionalism and continuing professional development
  • promoting the professional athlete
  • governmental policy and legislation
  • dimensions of equal opportunity

Links and sources

This contains direct links to all the materials used to compile this sector. More in-depth and detailed information can be found in the source materials as only key points have been extracted. In addition, websites and further sources which may be of interest have been included.

SkillsActive reports and publications

Regional information

The SkillsActive website includes regional information and facts sheets which can be downloaded or viewed online. 

Other sources of information include:

Useful websites

Department for Culture, Media and Sport   
This website contains information on government strategies regarding culture, media and sport.

SkillsActive is the Sector Skills Council  for Active Leisure and Learning.  The website has information about the sector and the industries it covers.  There is much research on the sector together with regional and national information for the UK.

The SkillsActive careers pages includes information on education and training in the sector, regional information and details the skills that are essential to work in the sector.

Prospects: the UK graduate careers website
The ‘Sport and leisure’ section of the Prospects website details the past, present and future issues of the sector, lists key roles and occupations as well as case studies and further contacts for the sector.

ACareerChange
The ACareerChange website aims to help those who feel stuck in a career or have an ambition to work in an alternative field.  The website includes a section on the Leisure and Hospitality sector which has an article on Changing Career: fitness, which provides useful background for those considering moving into the sector.

Regional websites

Sport England
Sport England is responsible for providing the strategic lead for sport in England to deliver the Government's sporting objectives.  The organisation develops the framework for the country's sporting infrastructure and distributes Lottery funding for sport.

Sports Council Northern Ireland
The Sports Council for Northern Ireland is a lead facilitator in the development of sport.  It aims to: increase and sustain committed participation in sport, raise the standards of sporting excellence and promote the good reputation and efficient administration of sport; plus develop the competencies of its staff.

sportscotland
sportscotland is the national body for sport development in Scotland.  It aims to encourage more people to participate in sport.  The organisation works in partnership with public, private and voluntary organisations, but also works closely with the Scottish Executive, advising on policy for sport and physical recreation.

Sports Council for Wales
The Sports Council for Wales is the national organisation responsible for developing and promoting sport and recreation.  It acts as the main advisor to the Welsh Assembly Government on all sporting matters.

 

Sport research institutes

A number of universities have sports related research institutes whose websites provide links to reports and publications. 

Sport Industry Research Centre, a joint research centre of the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University

Institute of Youth Sport, University of Loughborough

Institute of Sport and Leisure Policy, University of Loughborough

icon for content type Active Learning and Leisure

Archived sources