Skills, Education and Employment

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With 650,000 people working in the fitness sector, and more than 60,000,000 users in 59,000 fitness centres, EuropeActive recognises that the sector needs to be a “people focused” business, with the skills and motivations of the people who work as trainers, teachers and instructors at the heart of it. It is these inspirational people who can make a positive difference at so many different levels to the lives of citizens across Europe.

For more than 15 years EuropeActive, have been developing occupational standards for fitness trainers. Initially through some EU-funded actions, but in the past 9 years by investing over 500,000 Euro from our own budget through the independent Standards Council and Professional Standards Committee. We now have a comprehensive set of occupational descriptors for main occupations in fitness (defining the knowledge, skills and competencies/autonomy). EuropeActive has also developed an accreditation programme of approving nearly 120 vocational and education training providers (and some higher education institutes) based in more than 20 European countries. The EuropeActive Professional Standards Committee also oversees the operation of the European Register of Exercise Professionals (EREPS) which confirms the qualifications and status of fitness trainers.

With the Juncker Commission and a priority placed on skills issues, mostly through the New Skills Agenda, we can see fresh reasons for the need to help raise the qualifications of fitness workers, encourage entrepreneurship and increase levels of employment in the sector. EuropeActive supports policy reform of the skills agenda by working closely with the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme and the development of the Sector Skills Alliance for Active Leisure.

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