Swim England’s chief executive has urged people to reflect on how happy their career makes them as new research reveals that teaching swimming is one of the nation’s most rewarding and fulfilling careers.
The national governing body has joined forces with leisure operators to showcase the benefits of becoming a swimming teacher, as part of a major recruitment drive to combat national shortages that mean children are missing out on learning an essential life skill.
As part of Swim England’s latest #LoveSwimming campaign, the sector has united to highlight how those with a career in swim teaching report higher levels of satisfaction, flexibility and fulfilment compared to nationwide averages.
Swim England’s data from Institute of Swimming Members shows 96 per cent of UK swimming teachers love their job, and love giving back to the community to support children in developing an essential life skill. Yet the pandemic has had a staggering impact on the numbers of swim teachers, resulting in a nationwide shortage of more than 6,200. The result is more than half a million children are forecasted to miss out on lessons.
Currently, more than four in five (84 per cent) swimming pool operators, owners and swim schools are struggling to meet demand for lessons. In response, the sector has joined forces to inspire more people to become swimming teachers and support the nation post-Covid to become healthier, happier and more physically active.
Rebecca Cox, Managing Director, Institute of Swimming says: “We have launched a number of accessible routes, including our swimming academies, which offer people the chance to retrain and embark on a career as a swimming teacher for just £79.”
The Institute of Swimming’s training academies take prospective swimming teachers through the SEQ Level 1 Swimming Assistant (Teaching) Course and SEQ Level 2 Teaching Swimming Qualification. The usual cost of these two courses is over £1000. In addition to the training, applicants also receive a years’ membership to the Institute of Swimming and access to the online Introduction to Swimming Strokes – Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Rebecca Cox continues:
“Teaching swimming is a very rewarding career, with flexible hours, that might suit someone who wants to supplement their existing income or to work around their caring or studying responsibilities. We are looking to attract new people into the sector who may not have considered teaching swimming as a career opportunity. There are no educational restrictions to entering the training, and you don’t need to be an expert swimmer either. The recruitment academy seeks to offer the opportunity to become a swimming instructor to enthusiastic, people who can offer their time and commitment in exchange for this funded training opportunity.”
Further data shows that more than half of swim teachers have previously held different careers and they are even more likely to agree that being on poolside gives them happiness, fulfilment and a good work/life balance.
Mark Burns, a stay-at-home dad who was working part time in a call centre, recently completed his SEQ Level 1 and 2 training through one of the Institute of Swimming’s training academies. He says:
“I absolutely loved the training, and really enjoyed the mentorship given and the confidence it gave me. Now I’m qualified and teaching I’m finding it such a lovely job. I love to watch the children progress. It’s great not to be stuck behind a desk and I’ve recently given up my other part-time job to concentrate on my swimming role. I wish I had become a swimming teacher sooner, it brings a lot of joy to my life!”
Jane Nickerson, Swim England CEO is urging people to reflect on how happy they are in their career and to consider making the switch to becoming a swimming teacher. She says: “It is clear how integral swim teachers are, and will continue to be, to the health and wellbeing of the nation. Swim teachers are reporting high levels of job satisfaction and happiness, principally due to the fact they can take joy in gifting children and adults an essential life skill. With a nationwide shortage of teachers and more children than ever struggling to find lessons, we must do all we can to highlight the joys of the profession and encourage people to get involved. There has never been a more important moment in time than now.”