What Does This Mean for the Fitness Industry?
Fisher says the research on changing industry trends will require new employee skills and training, while at the same time, the competition for skilled employees will continue to grow. The industry needs to collaborate on common challenges and solutions by identifying the challenges faced in recruitment and retention.
The final ESSA-Sport report will discuss these topics further and should include recommendations from IHRSA. In the meantime, Fisher was able to share some immediate takeaways from the research presented at the summit.
In an online survey of over 3,800 sports employers—of which 48.5% were sports or fitness clubs—across the European Union, 22.1% reported difficulty in retaining staff. Between 2011 and 2018, there was a 13.6% increase in fitness and recreation instructors or program leaders. This increase is low compared to the 85.2% growth of sports coaches, instructors, and officials.
These stats lead to questions around employment versus self-employment, the different regulatory and tax environments, and other business challenges.
The Top 5 Skills Fitness Instructors & Personal Trainers Need to Improve
According to the employers surveyed, the five weakest skills they see in their fitness instructors and personal trainers include:
- Marketing and selling skills
- Ability to work with people with disabilities
- Communicating effectively with participants
- Understand participant needs
- Exercise science knowledge
IHRSA participated in the second meeting of the ESSA-Sport European Expert Advisory Board back in June 2019. This meeting was a significant opportunity for the sector to work collaboratively to encourage an increasingly active, healthy, and inclusive Europe.
"The scale of collaboration across Europe was a truly historic achievement," says Fisher. "IHRSA took the opportunity to develop stronger links with the pan-European organizations."
At the 2019 IHRSA European Congress, IHRSA’s EMEA and Federations and Partners attending—from as far as Brazil, U.S., Australia, New Zealand—discussed the highlights of the draft report, including crucial initial research and recommendations.
IHRSA will issue more information, key findings, and recommendations along with the EOSE press release after the release of the final ESSA-Sport report in December 2019.