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TRAINING Freedom Leisure to tackle youth inactivity

As part of the ongoing push across the physical activity sector to engage youngsters in exercise from an early age, Freedom Leisure is training staff in providing fitness classes and gym sessions tailored to teenagers. Staff at each of the trust’s

30 leisure sites across Sussex, Kent and Surrey have received specialist training in recent weeks, ahead of plans to roll out teen fitness training across the Freedom Leisure portfolio during January. The intensive two-day

Time to place leisure apprenticeships at the top of the agenda

IAN TAYLOR is chief executive at SkillsActive

Freedom Leisure staff attended two-day training courses in December

courses have seen fitness staff take the Adapting Fitness Instruction for Adolescents course developed and accred- ited by Active IQ. Te course is designed to provide learners with both the knowledge and skills that are required to adapt fitness instruction to accommodate adolescents, with particular focus on how physiological and psy- chological issues faced by teenagers affect their ability and motivation to exercise. “Overweight and inactive teenagers remain

a cause for concern within our society, with around 15 per cent of school leavers being

classified as obese,” said Freedom Leisure fitness and wellbeing manager Richard Merrick. “I believe there’s an opportunity and obligation for community leisure centres to provide classes and supervised gym sessions that are appealing and suitable for teens. “We have ample space in our gyms and

studios and can tap into the natural lull in our timetables between 4-6pm, meaning teenag- ers can come in aſter school and be finished before evening classes start and adults arrive aſter work.” Details:

New beauty apprenticeships approved

Hair and beauty apprenticeships that ensure trainees are ‘salon-ready’ when they qualify have been given government approval. Statistics from the Hair and Beauty Industry

Authority (Habia) indicate that in 2013, there were 12,922 apprentices in the UK sector. With this number set to increase over the next few years, the new standards have been devel- oped by a group of industry experts to make apprenticeships easier for employers to run and more skills-focused for trainees. Te Trailblazer Steering Group, which was

set up to develop and submit the standards, is made up of industry movers and shakers such as Hellen Ward, chair of Richard Ward Hair and Metrospa; George Hammer, chair of Urban Retreat; Helen Buck of Regis; Stephen Kee of SAKS; and Cathy Weston of Toni & Guy. Smaller employers are also represented by a number of additional members. Te group worked with Habia, the National

Hairdressers’ Federation and SkillsActive, to produce clearer guidelines on setting up and implementing apprenticeships. It also aims to qualify trainees who have a relevant, commer- cial skillset, as well as practical experience.

© CYBERTREK 2015 George Hammer of Urban Retreat Apprenticeships will be offered in the two

standards of hair and beauty. Te former will cover hairdressing and barbering and the latter covers beauty and makeup consultancy; beauty and spa therapy; and nail services. “We’re delighted with the government

approval of the standards, which have been thor- oughly considered and discussed by employers and industry stakeholders. Te next step is to look at delivery, implementation and assessment of the apprenticeships,” said George Hammer of Urban Retreat. Details:

Twitter: @leisureopps


olling day, as everyone is aware, is Tursday, 7 May and appren- ticeships will be at the heart of the General Election campaign.

SkillsActive is determined to make the case for expanding apprenticeships in our indus- try inside Westminster and Whitehall. Before Christmas, business secretary

Vince Cable congratulated SkillsActive and employers in our industry for helping meet the target of two million apprentices in England during this parliament. Evidence by SkillsActive to the Education

Committee’s inquiry into ‘Apprenticeships for 16-19 year olds’ has highlighted to MPs that 15 per cent of all apprentices aged 16-18 are employed in the SkillsActive sectors, with our employers helping youngsters ‘earn and learn’ in every parliamentary constituency. For SkillsActive, the link between greater

physical activity and a healthier nation is part of our DNA. Te case for the public funding of leisure apprenticeships to increase the supply of trained Fitness and Exercise professionals, Outdoor pro- fessionals, Playworkers, Sports Coaches and Trainers is a no-brainer. However, in the world of Whitehall, with competing agendas and scarce resources, this is not always appreciated. SkillsActive has been meeting officials at the Departments of Business, Education, Health, Sport, plus Work and Pensions to ensure funding ‘apprenticeships for growth’ doesn’t crowd out ‘apprenticeships for personal wellbeing’. Expansion not contraction of appren-

ticeships is, though, the order of the day. Te Conservatives have pledged increas- ing the number of apprentices in England from two million in this parliament to three million in the next. Labour, mean- while, has pledged to increase the number of 18-year-olds starting an apprenticeship to match those entering university. SkillsActive stands ready to work with

the new administration from May 2015 and explain the value of apprenticeships, to our sectors, the health and wellbeing of the nation and the wider economy.

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