Severe staff shortages in WA aquatic recreation industry post COVID-19

28 October 2020

 Swim instructors are desperately needed for a swimming program starting in Port Hedland on Monday 16th November.

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There are also dozens of other jobs available for Swim Instructors, Lifeguards, Duty Managers and other aquatic staff at our Jobs Board.

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A recent report from Royal Life Saving WA, The Impact of COVID-19 on the Aquatics Industry: Jun-Aug Update, has revealed that the WA aquatic recreation industry is starting to bounce back after the disruptions of COVID-19 earlier this year.

front cover of Impact of Covid report by RLSSWAAquatic recreation centres have seen an increase in visitation rates from this time last year, with the month of August recording a whopping 41% increase in pool visitations compared to August 2019.

Other figures have also trended upwards, with swimming enrolments across all programs increasing by 20% compared to 2018/19. There was a jump in online enrolments for October swim programs, up 6.5% compared to October 2019 program enrolments. You can download a copy of the report here.

However, despite the encouraging enrolment figures, a number of these programs are now at risk due to a lack of qualified workers. Almost two-thirds of pools stood down at least half of their staff during the COVID-19 shutdowns, and most of those remaining were given alternative work. A mere 10% of staff worked at their centre during the shutdowns.

“All casual staff were stood down…most permanent staff were redeployed if there was not meaningful work in their substantive roles,” said one pool manager. “Whilst pleasing to see enrolments increase, a number of our October programs are at risk due to instructor availability.” 

53% of pool managers believe they do not have an adequate number of swimming instructors. Hundreds of qualified staff, including swimming instructors and pool lifeguards, are now needed to ensure availability for the coming swim season.

Enrol in a course with Royal Life Saving WA and become a fully qualified Pool Lifeguard, or Swimming Instructor. It is estimated that 1,160 swimming teachers and 560 pool lifeguards will be needed during the summer season, so now is the perfect time to upskill for a great summer job.

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