The world of sports and fitness may seem like a tough industry to crack. Built on competition and highly popular among secondary school students, it may seem impossible to land your dream job in such a competitive industry. However, now with the depth and variety of Sports & Fitness apprenticeships in the UK, turning your passion for sport into a career has become far more accessible.
With employers now offering the opportunity to gain invaluable qualifications and practical experience in fields such as coaching, PESS (Physical Education and School Sport), sports development and exercise and fitness training, entering the world of sports & fitness no longer means being the best football player or most talented sportsman you know. Encouraging a genuine interest in physical activity, employers normally search for an energetic and passionate individual who’s flexible - both in working scenarios and with working days. With some apprenticeships requiring candidates to work on weekends or work actively with children, a genuine interest in supporting the sporting world will land you in good stead for a successful apprenticeship.
Normally catered to suit school leavers, undergraduate students or, in some cases, those aged 16 and above, the scope and variety of sports apprenticeships on offer throughout the UK can offer endless opportunities in the field. While most full-time opportunities in the world of sporting apprenticeships start at an advanced level (level 3 apprenticeship), there are also other part-time, entry level apprenticeships on offer in less specialised fields like coaching (Intermediate level 2 apprenticeship) and spectator safety.
Depending on your chosen sector, a sporting apprenticeship could find you working with a part-time or full-time contract and being paid to supervise sporting activities such as track & field events or find you coupling study and work in an effort to acquire recognised qualifications. For example, some football academy’s such as West Ham now offer the opportunity to advance your sporting career alongside the opportunity to gain qualifications such as a BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sport, which could find you working as a football coach or in other leisure and fitness jobs. Some sporting apprenticeships even offer the opportunity to take their skills overseas – whether it be teaching Tennis in America or volunteering in Australia, there are plenty of opportunities out there!
While requirements for sporting apprenticeships will vary from employer to employer, smaller, more entry level apprenticeships may sometimes require you to be aged between 16 & 18 with 3 GCSE’s A-C, whereas in some foundation degree apprenticeships, you may need a certain amount of UCAS credits coupled with A-level passes in subjects such as Maths, English and Science. Alongside this, with some companies encouraging previous experience working for local clubs or gyms, volunteering in the sporting world can also prepare you perfectly for a role in an apprenticeship. For example, Easton and Otley College, who offer a FdSc (Foundation Degree Sciences) in Health, Fitness, Strength & Conditioning normally advertise the importance of past experience when considering candidates for their apprenticeships.
However, due to the popular nature of the sporting industry it’s inevitable that some of these apprenticeships are going to be fiercely competitive. With this in mind, it’s important that you do everything beyond the requirements that you can to stand out as a candidate. This may be anything from compiling a portfolio of experience in your chosen field or researching and preparing a tailored CV for certain companies.
- By Max Lewis