From education to employment

Fitness Industry Responds to Skills Revolution with Sector Skills Council

SkillsActive, the Sector Skills Council (SSC) in control of training and development in the health and fitness industry, has recently launched its “skills revolution”.

With the support of many major employers within the sector SkillsActive are strongly promoting their idea of introducing and developing a National Skills Academy (NSA). The NSA would strive to be a source of effective training solutions. As the first point of contact for employers and those in the active leisure industry, the academy will offer straightforward and practical advice on staff training and development.

Boost for Industry

Lifetime Health and Fitness recently held a lunch on behalf of SkillsActive to formally launch the NSA proposal ahead of the official submission of the plans in June. Attended by health and fitness specialists from across the industry, the event attempted to highlight the important benefits a central training academy carried for the whole sector. SkillsActive’s chief executive Stephen Studd said “I am very grateful to Heather Frankham and her team at Lifetime Health and Fitness for hosting the National Skills Academy lunch.”

Mr. Studd continued: “It gave us a real opportunity to introduce the idea of the Academy and showcase the benefits it will bring to the fitness industry. It was great to bring together so many leading fitness employers, and the response we got about the Academy was extremely encouraging. It has cemented our commitment to develop a National Skills Academy for the sector.”


Attendees were able to hear the proposal in full and its potential. It was suggested that the Academy would offer high quality training programmes as and when employers needed this support. Companies could bulk buy courses from local, regional and national providers that are quality assured, which would prove cost effective. This initiative is industry led and should support the academy in the challenge of training provision and enable weaknesses to be discovered promptly. Training providers can also build on successful programmes and methods already in place as one central body.

This approach should result in clear information on fundamental issues, such as career development and training provision) being provided. Ideas on training provision should become clearer so effective material is available to all employers within the leisure and health and fitness industry. Stephen Studd also discussed the benefits of employers supporting each other through training development.

“This is a very exciting time for us at SkillsActive,” said Mr. Studd. “We have a real opportunity to bring the sector together to tackle the real issues that sector employers face. I”m constantly being told that the current provision of education and lifelong learning is not meeting employers” needs. The fragmentation of the training market means that most employers have difficulty finding a local provider, and ensuring that the training is quality assured or leads to qualifications.”

The NSA is being promoted as a “one stop” shop for business training needs. Development of core skills is seen as a major factor in this bid as employers need to ensure customer care, management and technical skills of employees meet standards. Through providing quality training employers should in turn see greater staff satisfaction and retention.

Mark Feakes, Sports Education Correspondent

Stay with FE News through the week for the latest in FE!

Related Articles