Leisure industry to create opportunities for 500 apprentices

More than 500 new leisure industry apprenticeships will be offered over the next three years, thanks to a partnership between a training provider and a social enterprise.

GLL, the UK’s largest public leisure provider and a charitable social enterprise, has joined together with training provider Lifetime Training. The collaboration will see a range of apprenticeship programmes begin to recruit students from 1 April.


Range of roles

The apprentices will work across GLL’s 210 leisure centres nationwide, initially filling roles as swimming teachers, lifeguards, and recreational staff. Over time, the range of roles will be expanded to also include customer assistants and back office staff.

Mark Sesnan, managing director of GLL, which operates the London Aquatics Centre and The Copper Box Arena at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, said: “As a social enterprise company that works in local communities, we have a responsibility to re-engage our public services with those communities and the best way we can do this is to develop people at a local level.

“The real celebration of our partnership with Lifetime is the way in which we will change people’s lives by providing a clear career pathway. Lifetime will help us get to the next level in providing flagship apprenticeships within the leisure industry.”


‘Great’ start to leisure career

Stephen Condon, a current apprentice at the London Aquatics Centre, said: “The GLL apprenticeship programme is a great way to start your career in the leisure industry.

“It helped me, someone with no previous experience in leisure, learn new skills and develop my existing ones to help me adapt to my new career path.”

The announcement of the 500 new apprenticeships coincides with National Apprenticeship Week. It is also timely, because GLL’s ‘Better’ brand is the official health and fitness partner for Sports Relief. Moreover, GLL funds athletes heading to this year’s Olympic Games in Rio through its Sports Foundation.

The partnership hopes that these high-profile associations will boost awareness of working in the leisure industry, and as a result, drive demand for the new apprenticeships.


Aspirations run high

Nigel Wallace, client services director for Lifetime Training, said: “We court challenging, bespoke propositions that enable us to build a training programme that is right for the right learner at the right time. GLL has a great philosophy and an ambition that we’re keen to support.

“We want people to regard leisure as a long-term, productive and aspirational career and the new training pathways that will be developed within the partnership will go a long way to achieving this.”