12 Sep Sport and leisure sector offers golden opportunity for training and employment in Essex
New research shows that the significance of sport to the Essex economy is comparable with other industries including burdening creative industries in driving employment growth. Over 11,000 new jobs in sports and leisure could be created, to add to the 21,400 already employed in the sector.
Active Essex, the county sports partnership for Greater Essex, and Creative Sport & Leisure Ltd, specialists in apprenticeships and work-based learning, have unveiled a new Sport Skills Strategy and Action Plan based on new research that identifies the need to develop a highly skilled, dynamic and diverse workforce in the sport and leisure sector.
Giving professional development opportunities to existing coaches, instructors and volunteers, as well as reforming qualifications and training frameworks to attract and develop young people into the industry, are amongst the key recommendations from the report.
Currently, the leisure sector employs almost 22,000 people in Essex accounting for around 2.5% of all jobs in the county. There are also around 3,000 self-employed people in related sports roles.
The research has informed an evidence-based Sports Skills Action Plan that will be driven by Active Essex and Creative Sport & Leisure, to increase skills and employment in the county. It will also support the delivery of the Creative Sport & Leisure ‘Creating Sector Leaders’ plan and Active Essex’s four-year strategy to change 1 million lives by getting people in Essex active.
The employment opportunities in the sport and leisure sector are not limited to delivering sport and physical activity, but includes the operation of sports facilities and clubs, sport event management, administration, as well as manufacturing and sale of sporting goods.
In addition to improving general knowledge of sports development and achieving coaching qualifications, young people involved in the sector develop a range of important, transferable skills including customer orientated skills, commercial awareness, team-work and organisational skills.
The Active Essex and Creative Sport & Leisure Sport Skills Action Plan will achieve its ambition and fill the existing skills gap by:
- increasing awareness of training, jobs and skills across the sector;
- developing strong partnerships across the county between the sport and leisure sector, councils and businesses;
- signposting funding and finance schemes for both young people and employers; and
- raising awareness of the scope of employment and career opportunities in the sector including apprenticeships, coaching and volunteering.