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TRAINING Females dominate fitness workforce

More than two thirds of the UK fitness sector’s workforce is female, according to the Working in Fitness Survey 2015. Te research – which

saw SkillsActive and the Exercise, Movement and Dance Partnership (EMDP) survey 35,000 members of the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) – found that 67 per cent of the work- force is female, with the industry’s flexible hours highlighted as key to attracting more women. “Te fitness industry

Why quality training and education is so vitally important

IAN TAYLOR is chief executive at SkillsActive

Women make up the majority of the industry’s workforce

offers great benefits in terms of working flexible hours, which is probably why the sector attracts predominantly women,” said Jade Moulden, insight lead at EMDP. “With 67 per cent of the fitness workforce consist- ing of women, it is an ideal career for those with families who can’t afford to have a reg- imented nine to five schedule and want the freedom of working for themselves. It offers excellent career opportunities.” Te survey also revealed that the average full-time salary in

the sector is £22,700, with full-time working women earning 97 per cent of a full-time male salary. Tough far from ideal, the indus- try’s gender pay gap is far narrower than the overall UK average – which reflects a differ- ence of 9.4 per cent between male and female f ull-time earnings across all sectors. Te research also highlighted that industry

salaries typically fall somewhat below the full-time national average of £27,271. Details:

Race for Life fitness classes unveiled

Cancer Research UK is seeking instructors for new female-only fitness classes to run in conjunction with charity running event Race for Life. ‘Racercise’

classes wi l l be

available all-year-round, providing fitness routines designed around the use of a resistance band to women of all ages and fitness levels. A spokesperson for Cancer

Res earch UK told Le i sure Opportunities that it has developed Racercise with “a range of industry professionals” who consulted on the structure, content and training pro- gramme. To date, the charity has focused on establishing classes with aerobics instructors and trainers who have an existing relationship with Race for Life at a regional/local level. However, it is now seeking additional fitness instruc- tors, networks and bodies across the health and fitness sector to support Racercise. According to Cancer Research, instruc-

tors will have a “unique opportunity” to appeal to the millions of women in the UK


he EU Council for Education, Youth, Culture and Sports recently held a meeting, attended by Stuart Turner our group

director of skills and qualifications, to dis- cuss ways to improve economic growth and employment in the European Union and ensure that EU citizens have the necessary skills to succeed in the labour market. According to the European Commission’s

annual growth survey, the EU’s policy pri- orities for the next year include improving the assessment of the skills required to meet the needs of the labour market and improv- ing vocational training and the quality of investment in education and training. It is great to see that the EU Council are

having serious conversations about ways to tackle the skills gap, which is an issue for all the EU member states. Providing high standards of education and training is something I feel very passionate about, especially given that 20 per cent of the EU working age population has low literacy and low numeracy skills, according to the OECD’s recent Survey of Adult Skills. I believe EU countries need to give

Racercise instructors will enjoy a “unique opportunity”

who have taken part in Race for Life and to promote their classes to current Race for Life participants. All Racercise instructors must be qualified fitness instructors or personal trainers, and are recommended to have a Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training, or an exercise to Music Instructor (ETM) Level 2 or above. Details:

Twitter: @leisureopps

special attention to this 20 per cent to give all citizens the opportunity to acquire key skills and competencies to widen their career options. Vocational training is an excellent gateway for helping young people of all capabilities and from all walks of life get a step on the career ladder but quality must be assured. As an employer- led business, SkillsActive endeavours to create the conditions for increased employer investment in skills which will drive enterprise, create jobs and lead to sus- tainable economic growth. We also ensure training standards in the leisure and wellbe- ing sector are maintained and only endorse training providers who follow best practice and constantly strive for self-improvement. Te recent meeting is hopefully a sign

that the EU Council will start implement- ing well thought-out, long-term strategies to improve training systems across Europe.

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