SkillsActive, the Sector Skills Council for Sport and Active Leisure, issued 9,342 Apprenticeship certificates in the year ending September 2011- up from 1,271 in 2006.
SkillsActive interim CEO Suki Kalirai says the figures show more employers in sport, fitness, caravans, playwork and the outdoors are realising the value of Apprenticeships.
“By using Apprenticeships to train new and existing staff, these employers are reducing business costs, investing in their future workforce and helping alleviate the nation’s unemployment crisis.”
Fit for Sport training manager Jack Shakespeare says 15% of the organisation’s 70 permanent staff train through Apprenticeship programmes; by 2013, he expects that figure to reach 50 per cent.
“Apprenticeships are, in our experience, the most successful way to recruit, develop and retain effective employees,” Jack says. “We are using Apprenticeship programmes to build a well-trained, motivated and loyal workforce which will help us grow and develop our business.”
Outdoor education provider PGL has 180 apprentices across its operations in the UK and France.
PGL Apprenticeship programme manager, Jo Mortimer says: “Apprenticeships are a cost-effective way to provide staff who may not have travelled the academic route with the skills and qualifications we require. Many of our apprentices have developed their management skills and gone on to work at higher levels within the business.”
Apprenticeships are a package of on-the-job training and qualifications which take between one and four years to complete. There are 13 Apprenticeship frameworks available in the sport and active leisure sector in England, covering job roles as diverse as activity leadership, playwork and spectator safety. SkillsActive has designed each framework in consultation with sector employers, to ensure they provide the skills businesses need.
Suki explains that Apprenticeship programmes are not just suited to large employers; small and medium sized businesses now have the opportunity to access funded training through SkillsActive’s Group Training Association.
“Our Group Training Association enables employers running small to medium enterprises to group together and access funded training that would otherwise be out of their reach. This training is delivered through SkillsActive’s network of approved National Skills Academy training providers.
“I encourage all employers, whatever their size, to talk to one of our account managers about how Apprenticeships could work for them.”
To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2012, SkillsActive is offering a FREE training package to the first 25 employers to register their interest in Apprenticeship funding on our website.
To learn more about Apprenticeships in the sport and active leisure sector, and how your business can benefit, please visit www.skillsactive.com/takethelead
Ashleigh Munns, 17 from Basildon is not a typical college student; she juggles studying for three A levels, the AASE programme and playing top flight basketball for her club Sevenoaks Suns which means she’s up against senior GB internationals every week. She has all but given up her social life to reach her full potential and travel the 80 mile round trip to club training twice a week in Sevenoaks, but her hunger and desire shows no bounds.
Choosing to enrol on the AASE basketball programme at SEEVIC, as the only girl alongside 13 boys, has been a turning point that she believes has really increased her confidence and self belief. She now has her sights set on a place at an NCAA Div 1 or Div 2 University to further her playing career, inspired by several club team mates at Sevenoaks Suns that have chosen to study in the USA.
Looking back, she said “before I started at College, I didn’t have as much confidence generally. At first I hated not having a social life and not seeing my school friends but over the last 12 months, I have totally committed to basketball and AASE was the missing link to help my game and develop me as a stronger and more confident person.”
Her selection for the AASE basketball Leonardo trip to Germany for two weeks last summer, was she says ‘one of the most amazing experiences of my life’, not because they won four out of five games but she found a new self-belief in her ability instilled by the coaching team and team mates that became close friends.
The AASE programme involves regular strength and conditioning sessions which complement her club training sessions, and individual mentoring and performance analysis totalling ten sessions per week. The style of learning and work ethic is now instilled in her training and performance, she commented, “I didn’t used to like working hard, now I love being pushed to my limits and I know working hard brings results, it’s the only way to improve”.
Ashleigh’s goal for 2012 is to be selected for the England U18 team to compete at the European Championships in August and as the Olympic Games comes to London, she hopes women’s sport, in particular basketball, will be elevated to where it belongs, commenting; “it’s just not taken seriously enough in this country, but in my experience the AASE programme is really helping to move things in the right direction.”
Created by SkillsActive and funded by the Skills Funding Agency, AASE is a sports performance programme for young talented athletes. It’s designed to directly measure an athlete’s ability to plan, apply and evaluate their development in the appropriate technical, tactical, physical and psychological aspects of their sport. It also addresses wider issues such as lifestyle, career development, communication and health and safety.
Anthony Doyle, 27, used to represent Salford and Leigh before deciding to focus on his first love - coaching.
He was offered the level 2 Apprenticeship in Activity Leadership with Premier Sport, which provides high quality community, extended school and holiday coaching activities, in 2010 after completing a work placement with the company on the Future Jobs Fund project.
Delivered by SkillsActive’s National Skills Academy, the project provided 5000 young unemployed people with six months training and work experience in the sport and active leisure sector.
Anthony says: “The Apprenticeship suited me down to the ground. I loved being able to get into schools and do what I was good at –interacting with staff and students – from day one, while also learning on the job.”
During his year-long Apprenticeship, Anthony learned to plan and deliver activity sessions for children before, during and after school as well as on holiday programmes. He also gained relevant qualifications such as NGB coaching badges in Basketball, Gymnastics and Fencing
Anthony now manages the Warrington franchise of Premier Sport after being hand picked by senior management at Premier Sport.
He is also completing a level 3 Apprenticeship in Management.
Premier Sport’s national education and training development officer, Andy Heald, says Antony is one of many apprentices at Premier Sport who will take the business into the future.
“Apprenticeships are a cost effective way to recruit enthusiastic people, give them the qualifications and experience to make them outstanding coaches and, in turn, improve and develop our business.
“I’d advise any business considering taking on an apprentice to go for it –you’ve got to speculate to accumulate.”
To learn more about Apprenticeships in the sport and active leisure sector please see Apprenticeships
Shiremoor adventure playground in North Tyneside provides five to 13 year olds with opportunities for adventurous play in a staffed, safe environment.
Manager Keeks McGarry says during the peak summer season, up to 300 children can use the facility on a single day: “Having a high ratio of staff to children is key to providing quality playwork service.”
Motivated by the need for more staff, Keeks recruited four apprentices to join his team of three fulltime workers in August 2011. One of those is Natasha Killeen, 17, who is completing her level 2 Apprenticeship in Playwork.
Natsaha says: “I’d always wanted to work with children. An Apprenticeship allowed me to gain paid experience in the field and recognised qualifications to kick start my career.
An average day for Natasha involves setting up the facility and engaging children in activities such as drawing or football, as well as additional duties such as cleaning. On Thursdays and Fridays she attends Tyne Metropolitan College to gain the knowledge component of her apprenticeship.
“It’s a really challenging role because you have to adapt your methods depending on whether you’re working with a five year old or a 13 year old,” she says.
Keeks says Apprenticeships help professionalise the sector, and promote playwork as a viable career option.
“Apprenticeships provide a clear entry point for people looking for a career in playwork. We now have several students on work placement wanting to start their career in playwork with an Apprenticeship.”
To learn more about Apprenticeships in the sport and active leisure sector, and how your business can benefit, please register your interest at www.skillsactive.com/takethelead
Jack Clarke, 17, left school at 15 to work on the family farm in Lancaster. After his family moved, he tried his hand at practical jobs such as school caretaking and working in a ground maintenance company before starting work as a trainee engineer at Salop Leisure in Shewsbury.
Soon after starting, Salop Leisure management spied potential in Jack and offered him the opportunity to take an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship in Leisure Operations.
“I don't enjoy class based learning, which is why I decided not to go to College,” Jack says. “With an apprenticeship, I'm gaining hands on experience, qualifications and training as well as earning a wage.”
Jack began his apprenticeship in February 2011 and has now completed his health and safety and first aid certificates as well as manufacturer's product training. He is looking forward to obtaining important gas and electrical qualifications in the future.
“We have a wide variety of repairs coming into the touring caravan workshop and I'm learning all the time. I aspire to be a good engineer and produce work to the highest standards,” Jack says.
Salop Leisure HR administrator Barbara Morris says Jack is one of four apprentices at the company, with the others working in customer service, holiday homes and alongside Jack in touring caravans repairs.
“Apprenticeships provide our staff with the opportunity to gain technical and transferable skills needed for a great start in their careers. It also ensures we have well trained, competent staff to take the business forward. I would encourage all businesses in our industry to consider taking on an apprentice.”
To find out more about Apprenticeships in the sport and active leisure sector please see Apprenticeships
Looking for a second chance in life and to prove the people who once doubted him wrong, Ian’s determination and will to succeed led him to Lifetime. Enrolling into the Lifetime Fitness Academy and with the support of tutor Mark Pemberton, Ian successfully completed his Level 2 Fitness Instructor Apprenticeship; not only could Ian earn while he learned, but he was able to gain ‘on the job’ skills and a true understanding of the industry.
Ian says: “I have turned my life around, influenced people and shown never to give up on anyone. In the space of just 20 months I have come from “just an apprentice” to becoming the youngest ever Health and Fitness Manager of the largest Fitness First club in Europe. I have received two awards from my employer on consecutive months, which has never been achieved by anyone in the company. I always aimed high from the very start and never gave up on that goal.”
A bright future awaits Ian; he now teaches ‘PT Business’ courses and has worked hard to establish himself in the fitness industry. “Eventually I want to have a say in how the industry is run. I feel that my passion behind health and fitness can influence change; my ambition is to aim high!”
Fitness First Cluster Manager Simon Latham says: “Fitness First is committed to supporting the continued professional development of all our staff towards performance excellence and as our training provider we are delighted that Lifetime is recognising the achievements of these people through the Lifetime Learner Achievement Awards.
“We are extremely proud that from a difficult place in his life, Ian has demonstrated how much someone can achieve with hard work and dedication. Not only that, but that he is also now helping others to achieve. From a new start with the Lifetime Fitness Academy, through to his recent achievements, his is a story to be celebrated and we hope to use it to inspire others within the Fitness First team and we will continue to support anyone that has the development of others at heart.”
To find out more about Apprenticeships in the sport and active leisure sector please see Apprenticeships