career as a personal trainer

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Thinking of career as a personal trainer? There’s a gap in the market for personal trainers with the ability to work with children, according to a national survey.

Thousands of UK personal trainers (PTs) are not trained to work with children, a national survey has revealed.

The survey shows that fitness employers across the UK think that most PTs aren’t trained to work with children. This is despite today’s children being the least active generation in history, and the government committing to plans to tackle childhood activity in recent years.

This presents you with an incredible opportunity, if you’re thinking about a career as a personal trainer.

Results of the survey have been published in the report, Raising the Bar, from leading training provider Future Fit Training. The findings reveal that 86% of those respondents surveyed think that fitness professionals are not adequately equipped to work with children, despite 73% of employers saying they are trained to do so.

Data in the report was collected by surveying professionals from the UK’s largest leisure operators, representing over 45,000 fitness employees.

Rob Johnson, founder and MD of Future Fit Training, said: “The results in our report are both disconcerting and disappointing. Today’s children are the least active generation in history. To facilitate and deliver the opportunities the UK government has committed to, in order to tackle childhood inactivity and change this, we need appropriately qualified fitness professionals – whether they work in a gym, leisure facility or the community. These results show this is something we don’t yet have and far from attaining.

“We don’t yet have personal trainers with the skills to work with children, nor do we have employers who have confidence in their staff to do so,” he added. “To make the best of the opportunities that have been set, changes need to happen and they need to happen now. This should start with rethinking qualifications to make sure all PTs are being taught the right skills to help improve children’s fitness now and in the future.”

The Raising the Bar report also reveals the little knowledge employers seem to have of how PTs in their teams are qualified to work with children.

When asked if employers were aware of the extent to which fitness professionals are qualified to work with children under the current Level 3 Personal Training Qualification, 73% said they were not aware. In addition to this, when asked how clear employers were on the extent to which their fitness professionals are able to work with children under their qualifications, only 9% said they were “very clear,” while 23% said they were “not clear at all.”

Rob said: “To make sure we build a strong team of PTs to get children healthy and fit, employers should really know what qualifications cover when it comes to working with them. They should understand how their staff are qualified and the relevant skills they have, to know who is best placed to work with a child.”

Similarly, if you want to get ahead, then you can find training providers that will empower you with the right qualifications to meet this demand.

Raising the Bar is an annual review of the physical activity workforce, training and development landscape, undertaken by Future Fit Training and supported by ukactive.

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If you are thinking of a career as a personal trainer visit the Health and Fitness section on Careers in Sport.