As the Jobs and Skills Summit is underway in Canberra, the Australian fitness industry has flagged an industry-wide skills shortage as the gap between job vacancies and the number of qualified applicants applying continues to widen.
AUSactive General Manager of Corporate Services Paul Ritchie said the job seeker shortage facing the industry was a ‘perfect storm’ of pandemic-induced workforce changes and a steep increase in demand for health and wellbeing services.
“With a highly casualised workforce, pandemic-induced lockdowns saw a significant proportion of our workforce leave the industry to find other employment,” Mr Ritchie said.
“For example, the number of Personal Trainers employed experienced a 5.14% decrease in 2019/20 and a further 7.2% decrease in 2020/21.
“While the industry still tries to recover from this, demand from individuals investing in their health and wellbeing has increased dramatically at the same time – again a result of pandemic isolation and an increased sense of looking after oneself.”
Mr Ritchie said many businesses were struggling to keep up with demand and fill positions fast enough to meet this demand.
“Job ads have rapidly increased across our network, from the larger facilities right through to smaller operators. The challenge facing many is the lack of qualified individuals applying for positions,” Mr Ritchie said.
“Even the sheer number of applications has dropped significantly, for example pre-pandemic you might have received 50-plus applications for a trainer but now you might be lucky to get only a handful.”
To help combat the problem, AUSactive has launched a dedicated Jobs Board for members to find qualified industry professionals.
“The new dedicated AUSactive Jobs Board is about connecting professionals and businesses within our network. It’s a place where individuals, for example our student members or re-skilled professionals, can go to find job vacancies with AUSactive businesses,” Mr Ritchie said.
Mr Richtie said the launch of the AUSactive Jobs Board was timely given the usual seasonal uplift in getting active and or joining a class or gym.
“As we say goodbye to winter, the warmer longer days traditionally sees more people get out and get active. This will put additional pressure on our industry as client and membership numbers increase,” Mr Ritchie said.
For more information on the AUSactive Jobs Board go to https://jobs.ausactive.org.au/