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Sport and Active Leisure

Future Trends


  • At the end of 2011, figures from Sport England showed that more than 6,900 million people take part in sport three times a week. Overall, sports participation among disabled people and males was on the up, but for females and for young people aged 16-19, the numbers involved had declined.  Economic factors were one of the main reasons given for lower participation.

  • The state of the economy is also likely to have an effect on the fitness industry, and the number and type of gyms/leisure centres. Over the last couple of years, budget chains (many of them open 24-hours) have been rapidly appearing in major towns throughout the UK. Staffing numbers in such chains are often low. Experts believe that the expansion of the budget chains might force some of the mid-priced chain gyms out of business.

  • In Autumn, the Government announced that SkillsActive will receive more than three quarters of a £million. The money is to help employers invest in training and increase the number of apprentices, and to improve the access to specialist qualifications for workers in the fitness, leisure and playwork sectors.

  • Around 25% of the UK population is obese, the effects of which include higher rates for diseases and greater costs to the NHS - one of the ways the Government wants to tackle this is through sport

  • The increasing costs of attending live sporting events, coupled with better picture technology, could have a knock on effect on the number of jobs in the industry,

  • The link between technology and sport is important in many areas - from the rackets and strings used by tennis players to the video technology used by professional sportspeople to review their progress.

  • In the future, if goal line and other technology is introduced for football, for instance, it could take some of the pressure off referees and it might encourage more people to consider the job (there has been a referee shortage for the last few years)


Read more about this job sector, including the skills that might be needed in the future, on the National Guidance Research Forum site