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Graduates entering the industry have to be fl exible and willing to work in a variety of roles, ranging from sales and marketing right through to aquatics coaching Fortunately, the leisure sector off ers var-

ious options to both school leavers and graduates to gain a foothold on the career ladder - potentially making the diffi cult choice a little less stressful.

Options for all Vocational programmes are available from a variety of providers, off ering specifi c entrance points to young people. Each of the

Laura Swarbrick, 24

Where are you working and what is your position? Physiotherapist working part time in the NHS, at a private sports clinic and a national division two rugby team. What does your day-to-day role include? Predominately assessing and treating patients in clinic. However, I also run a number of pilate’s classes and provide pitch-side fi rst aid at rugby games. What attracted you to the leisure industry? I enjoy helping people achieve a healthy lifestyle and enabling people to participate in sports post-injury. What attracted you to this particular sector? Being a keen sports player growing up, I saw the importance physiotherapy can have in achieving goals. T e leisure industry allows you to work with highly motivated people. How easy was it to fi nd a job? Lots of people struggle post-training, but if you commit to volun- teering and build your experience there are always jobs out there. How did you enter the industry? What training course did you do before your fi rst job? I completed a three-year BSc Physiotherapy degree at Keele University. Once qualifi ed, I then went on to further my training in pilates, pitch-side fi rst aid and acupuncture.

© CYBERTREK 2014 Twitter: @leisureopps “Employers will also

be looking for practical examples of interest in the industry”

programmes aims to enhance both students’ professional experience and allow them to gain certifi ed accreditation in a specifi c fi eld. Providers include the likes of T e

Training Room which is able to provide training and qualifi cations, while companies like Lifetime Training are able to set stu- dents up with apprenticeships, giving them the chance to earn as they learn in leisure capacities. Oſt en these apprenticeships will

How well do you think your training pre- pared you for a career in leisure? During my degree we had to complete a num- ber of placements within the NHS which helped my skills. However, these were not in the sports industry so when I qualifi ed and wanted to go into the leisure industry, I took it upon myself to volunteer and did lots of shad- owing of experienced clinicians. What advice would you have for school leav-

ers looking to get into the industry? Get as much work experience as you possible can. Physiotherapy is a tough course and you need to be ware of what it entails. Is there anything you would do diff erently if given the chance? I would have taken a gap year before starting university. I love my job and what I am doing now to build my career, but I would fi nd it hard to take a break. Also, physiotherapy is an intense course at university so you have to be committed to put the hours in. Is working in the leisure industry what you expected? Like any jobs there are good and bad days but predomantly yes. I get to work with a variety of people and broaden my skills. What are the best aspects of the leisure industry? It is such a large industry to work in, so I am able to expand my career in many diff erent ways which is exciting. And the worst? Working in a number of roles means lots of long hours and travel.

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