Jack Cohen

Job title Lifeguard

Employer Brighton Swimming Centre

How to be a lifeguard

A job as a lifeguard can lead to all kinds of opportunities. Here, Jack Cohen explains how his job as a lifeguard has opened doors to overseas travel.

Gaining an IQL UK National Pool Lifeguarding Qualification (NPLQ) meant that 17-year-old Jack Cohen was able to step straight into a job when he left school.

He started working as a lifeguard for Brighton Swimming Centre after he left Seaford Head Community College in the summer of 2012. Following his GCSEs and BTEC exams, he decided to explore other options rather than continue in further education. Jack was keen to get a job straight after leaving school and working in the leisure sector gave him a clear, structured route for career progression.

Family provided the inspiration behind his career choice and his sister Jade, who is also a lifeguard and swimming teacher at the centre, was able to give him first-hand insight into the job as a lifeguard. Last summer Jack started training to be a lifeguard by starting the RLSS UK National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) as part of a six day course which involved a mixture of practical and theoretical sessions.

One year on, Jack has a job as a lifeguard and is taking the next step by starting his SWIM UK swimming teacher apprenticeship.  As he is under 19 and employed within the leisure industry for over 30 hours per week, Jack is eligible to complete the apprenticeship for free.

After he completes the programme, Jack’s aspiration is to work for Neilson Holidays as the opportunity to work abroad strongly appeals to him. He said: “My qualifications as a lifeguard and qualifications as a swimming teacher provide an excellent opportunity for me to travel overseas, work with a wide range of people and develop my career in the leisure industry.

“Training to be a lifeguard and holding this important lifeguard qualification is very rewarding and gives me a real sense of responsibility. It’s such a valuable life skill and since leaving school, I’m earning a regular wage and working in an environment that I really enjoy. I’m a very active person and for me it beats sitting at a desk for a living!”.

He added: “The best part of my job as a lifeguard is meeting new people and I also love being part of the Lifeguard team at Brighton Swimming Centre – it’s very active and my confidence has also grown as I’ve been able to take on more responsibility. My training as a lifeguard is continuous and you must keep your training up to date in order to maintain the necessary high standards.

“My advice to school leavers is not to worry if you didn’t the grades you wanted this summer. Other opportunities will present themselves and working in the leisure industry is challenging, fun and most of all, rewarding.”

For more information on how to be a Lifeguard, visit the RLSS website at www.rlss.org.uk
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