July 5, 2020

Leisure

If you are interested in sport and like working with the public, this could be the job for you. As a leisure centre assistant, you would help and supervise visitors using leisure centre facilities.In this job you will need to be very aware of health and safety issues. You will also need to be a good communicator and have customer service skills.

You don’t need any particular qualifications to get into this type of work, although some experience in a customer service role will help you. You may be able to get into this job through an Apprenticeship. You will need Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance.

The work

You would have a wide range of duties, typically including:

aYour duties could include:

  • setting up, dismantling and maintaining equipment
  • making sure all areas and facilities are kept clean and tidy
  • selling tickets and making reservations
  • swimming pool maintenance and safety
  • staffing a helpdesk in reception
  • helping in the catering section, selling food and drink.

In a small centre you may be involved in all of these activities. At a larger centre you may be able to specialise in a specific area, such as swimming pool supervision or outdoor sports.

Hours

You would probably work around 40 hours a week in a full-time job. Part-time work is often available. This would include shifts covering evenings, weekends and public holidays.

Your job could be physically demanding, as it may involve setting up and moving equipment.

Entry requirements

You do not need any particular qualifications to be a leisure centre assistant. It may be an advantage when looking for work if you have previous customer service experience.

Some employers may prefer you to have a qualification in first aid, gym instruction or lifeguarding. See the Related careers section for more on these.

You could take a college course to gain some of the skills and knowledge needed in this type of job, which may help when looking for work. Courses include:

  • Level 1 Award in Sport and Leisure
  • Level 2 Award in Employment Awareness in Active Leisure and Learning
  • Level 2 Certificate/Diploma in Sport.

You may be able to get into this job through an Apprenticeship in Active Leisure and Learning. The range of Apprenticeships available in your area will depend on the local jobs market and the types of skills employers need from their workers.

Training and development

When you start work, full training would be given covering the centre’s facilities, booking systems, procedures, and health and safety.

While working, your employer may offer you the opportunity to work towards a qualification, such as:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Leisure Operations
  • Level 2 (NVQ) Certificate in Active Leisure, Learning and Well-being Operational Services
  • Level 3 Certificate/Diploma in Sport.

The Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (IMSPA) also offers a range of short courses for people working in leisure, including:

  • Fitness Management Certificate
  • National Pool Plant Foundation Certificate
  • National Spa Pool Operators Certificate

Membership of the Institute also allows access to a range of professional development opportunities.

Skills, Interests and Qualities

  • A keen interest in sport and fitness activities
  • Awareness of health and safety
  • Good communication skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Flexibility
  • Willingness to do routine tasks
  • Physical fitness and stamina.
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