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How to approach a career in leisure

Parental pressure, high tuition fees and uncertainty about the future can make choosing your career a thankless task. Luckily the leisure industry provides options that everyone can pursue

a good time to be considering pursuing a career in the leisure industry. Unlike some industries, leisure contin-


ues to hold its ground in a landscape of economic uncertainty, with the latest sur- vey from property agent Savills fi nding that

Harrison Bright, 20

Where are you working and what is your position? I work at Xchange Fitness in Hitchin as an apprentice gym instructor. What does your day-to-day role include? Running training sessions, greeting members, maintaining machines and carrying out induc- tions for new members. What attracted you to the leisure industry? I’ve been interested in fi tness for a long time and love interacting with people, so the chance to combine the two and help people achieve their fi tness goals really appeals to me. What attracted you to this particular sector? Again the fi tness aspect was a big draw, but I didn’t want to go to university so the fact that I could undertake vocational training to reach my goal also played a part. How easy was it to fi nd a job? I did work experience for four months while I was studying and then when I fi nished in September 2013, I asked Xchange if they’d take me on as an apprentice. Luckily they agreed. How did you enter the industry? What training course did you do before your fi rst job? I did a level 2 sports BTEC at college, which also provided me with masseuse and fi rst aid qualifi cations. Now I’m doing an


ith the green shoots of recovery fi nally starting to disperse the economic gloom, now is certainly

32 per cent of respondents reported a rise in retail and leisure development activity in March, the sector’s highest score since 2003. T e forecasts are equally bright for the

months ahead, with further development likely to lead towards more employment opportunities. But with competition for jobs oſt en fi erce, it’s important to consider which role would be ideal for you and evaluate the best training route towards this.

People skills play a large role in leisure success

Decisions, decisions Research from banking group Santander reveals just how tough making a career choice can be. Conducted among 1,000 peo- ple, its study showed that 79 per cent of pre-university students believe that a degree provides the best long-term career pros- pects. But that leaves a potential 21 per cent of people who believe that there are other ways you can build a career.

Active IQ level 3 course in fi tness instruction. How well do you think your training pre- pared you for a career in leisure? My training defi nitely prepared me with the knowledge that I needed to step forward into the industry. I was also quite shy before so the course gave me the confi dence to engage better. What advice would you have for school leav- ers looking to get into the industry? Explore your options – there are lots of dif-

ferent courses so its important to identify the right one for you while bearing in mind the area you ultimately want to work in. Is there anything you would do diff erently if given the chance? I’ve started out at the bottom, so maybe if I’d worked a bit harder at school I may have been able to progress quicker. Is working in the leisure industry what you expected? T e practical nature of my college course gave me a good ground- ing and meant I was well prepared for the levels of interaction and understood the importance of treating people with respect. What are the best aspects of the leisure industry? Working in a fi eld I enjoy and fi nd fascinating, while helping peo- ple to progress and reach their fi tness targets. Also the fact that it’s open to everyone and doesn’t necessarily require a degree. And the worst? T e wages aren’t great when you’re an apprentice and I’m not a very big fan of cleaning, although that doesn’t get me out of it!

Read Leisure Opportunities online: Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2014


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