On 28 June 2018, representatives from 14 EU Networks / Umbrella Associations across the breadth of the Sport and Physical Activity sector gathered at the offices of UNI-Europa in Brussels to discuss the skills realities, tendencies and challenges facing the sector.

This meeting of the European Associations Expert Advisory Board was led by the European Social Partners, EASE (European Association for Sport Employers) and Uni-Europa (representing employees) as a key part of the three year ESSA-Sport project (Sector Skills Alliance for Sport and Physical Activity – www.essa-sport.eu), coordinated by EOSE.

At this second annual meeting, the European Associations reaffirmed their commitment to collaborate and work together to ensure the broadest possible consultation process in the next crucial stage of the project: the European Employer Skills Survey. The ESSA-Sport project aims to produce the first ever map of employment across the full breadth of the sector together with an analysis of the skill needs of the sector based on a wide consultation with employers. Overall, this collaborative initiative will provide sector strategic action plans at the European and national level with concrete priorities and recommendations to be implemented to help ensure education, training and qualifications are geared towards the realities of the sector.

EOSE presented the first results of the desk research carried out by  national coordinators and in collaboration with Eurostat, which showed a sector that is steadily growing and diversifying. The statistics relating to the labour market highlighted the broadening range of employers involved in the delivery of sport and physical activity and the importance of part-time, self-employed and second jobs to support the drive to increase the level of physical activity in the EU. The detailed statistics are now being validated by the national stakeholders and will be finally published in 2019 together with the main findings from the European Employer Skills Survey.

Indeed, the survey will be based on an online questionnaire which was discussed in detail by the group to help identify the key issues that it should address. The European Employer Skills Survey will be launched by the end of September 2018 through a questionnaire available in various languages. The European Associations agreed to contribute to the dissemination and promotion of the survey and will dispatch the invitation through their own network of contacts.

Key questions in the survey will focus on identifying the skills prioritised by employers in recruiting the staff they need and the difficulties they face in that recruitment, and will seek opinions on important issues such as the realities around training, the role of regulation, the challenges facing the recruitment of volunteers and how to achieve inclusivity in employment and in participation in sport.

This first ever European Employer Skills Survey for Sport and Physical Activity is a unique opportunity for our sector and we need to ensure a high level of responses

So don’t be left out as your response matters – you can already register your interest and on www.essa-sport.eu to ensure you receive a direct invitation to the survey in September 2018