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Industry shows an appetite for learning

IAN TAYLOR is chief executive at SkillsActive

Exercise professionals under-skilled: study

More than 55 per cent of UK fitness managers believe exercise profession- als are under-skilled for delivering social and psychological support to inactive people, according to the results of a survey published by Central YMCA Qualifications (CYQ). The study was conducted by


or SkillsActive, Leisure Industry Week (LIW) 2014 was a fantastic success. Te appetite for learning was phenomenal as we are part of

a fast-developing industry that requires professionals continuously updating their skills, qualifications and sector knowledge. Here at SkillsActive, we work with

employers to identify their training needs by asking fundamental, oſten neglected questions in order to identify solutions and to ensure training needs are met. At LIW we were able to spend a great deal of time engaging and cementing our relationships with organisations such as British Military Fitness, whereby we were able to learn more about their enthusi- asm for developing their staff, with a particular focus on their park managers. Accredited qualifications offer a struc-

tured career pathway; a very valuable, motivating tool. When employees are active in their development and take pride, there is an increased sense of ownership, which in turn leads to an even stronger affiliation and commitment between the individual and their organisation. LIW also played host to the REPs

National Convention, with training pro- viders such as Discovery Learning and CHEK Europe being involved. Olympian and REPs Ambassador Louise Hazel and Paralympian Anna Turney delivered inspiring and insightful keynote speeches, sharing their professional expertise to those in the fitness industry looking to develop their knowledge and skills. I was extremely encouraged by how

receptive so many professionals still are to hearing more about professional devel- opment and just how it can be tailored to meet their individual needs. Te best can- didates will be attracted by an employer who offers the best opportunities for pro- fessional development. Employers should pay special attention to those who are keen to learn not only for financial and career incentives, but also out of a passion for our sector and a hunger to learn more.


ukactive – surveying 1,200 exercise and management professionals – in an attempt to identify current skills gaps in the active leisure sector. Giving that the findings have

shown a lack of confidence in the skills of some professionals when looking at support frameworks for the inac- tive, fitness and leisure employers have called for definitive career pathways to be established within the physical activity sector. Tere have also been calls from the industry

Te survey covered 1,200 exercise and management professionals

or without a career development plan. “Tis is about developing training pathways

for a greater focus on counselling and moti- vational interviewing within training, to help the workforce cope with the growing number of inactive people across the country. Another statistic shows 33 per cent of

employers feel communication skills are not sufficiently covered by existing vocational training, while concerns were also raised by the ease at which young exercise professionals can enter the sector with minimal education

that ultimately deliver professionals who are equipped to provide the spectrum of services required to effectively engage the most seden- tary members of the community,” said David Stalker, CEO at ukactive. “Tese are people for whom there are oſten deep-seated psy- chological and social barriers to embarking on an exercise programme. Up-skilling our professionals to be able to deal with this is not only a critical investment in the long term health of the nation, it is vital for the long term sustainability of the sector.” Details:

CIMSPA announces first HE partners

CIMSPA has announced the first wave of higher educa- tion (HE) partners – part of its new strategy to forge links between universities and industry for the benefit of stu- dents and employers. The professional devel-

opment body’s strategy is particularly focused towards supporting students in mak- ing their first step into the world of work. Te new HE partners are universities which have sector-endorsed degree courses and will also facilitate CIMSPA student affiliate status for their relevant learners. The new higher education partners are:

Cardiff Metropolitan University; Leeds Beckett University; Sheffield Hallam University; Southampton Solent University; University of Chester; and University of Portsmouth. From a university perspective, the tie-up

demonstrates a commitment to teaching skills and knowledge relevant to the workplace,

Read Leisure Opportunities online:

Ben Gittus, CIMSPA interim endorsement director

while CIMSPA is able to engage future indus- try talent from an early age and pave the way for full membership when they come to embark on their career in the sector. “Higher education has a big role to play in

CIMSPA and the future of the sector as a whole – we look forward to expanding this list.” said Ben Gittus, CIMSPA interim endorsement director. Details:

Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2014

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