cancel
search
Search by IRC, Industry, sector, training package, IRC skills forecast or occupation.

Outdoor Recreation

Overview

The page provides information and data on the Outdoor Recreation sector, which is one component of the Sport, Fitness and Recreation industry.

The outdoor recreation sector includes nature-based tourism, camps and outdoor education, adventure therapy, and a full range of outdoor recreational activities, such as cycling, fishing, bushwalking, canoeing, surfing, climbing and many others. While some of these activities may be considered a sport, there are many people who participate in them without association with a team, club or competition. The natural environment is typically a central component of an outdoor recreational activity. It is also noted that outdoor learning may occur in the absence of formal outdoor recreation education, through experiences rather than adherence to curriculum.

Outdoor recreation and education programs are delivered in a variety of venues, some in and around major tourist areas and natural heritage sites within an hour of capital cities. Others operate out of residential centres or are journey-based and explore areas that are only accessible by foot or boat.

Relevant organisations in this sector include commercial and not-for-profit fee-for-service providers, state peak bodies, national peak bodies, volunteer organisations conducting programs for youth (for example, Scouts), the Department of Education and independent schools. These providers vary from small sole traders to multi-million-dollar national organisations.

Examples of job roles within this sector that require vocational education and training are:

  • Outdoor Adventure Guide
  • Fishing Guide
  • Youth Workers
  • Camp Managers.

There is strong growth projected in the sport and recreation occupations. Outdoor Adventure Guides are expected to have 28% growth over the next five years.

Nationally recognised training for Outdoor Recreation occupations is delivered under the SIS – Sport, Fitness and Recreation and SIS10 – Sport, Fitness and Recreation Training Packages. 

For more information on Aquatic and Community RecreationFitness and Sport sectors, please visit the respective pages.

Information sourced from the Sport and Recreation IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast (forthcoming).

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

 

IRC and Skills Forecast

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

The employment level in the Sport and Physical Recreation industry has risen substantially over the period between 2000 and 2018, with a further increase projected up until 2023. The Amusement and Other Recreation Activities industry has also seen a rise in employment levels over the same period and a further increase is predicted over the next five years.

Fitness Instructors, Sports Coaches, Instructors and Officials make up over 25% of the Sport and Recreation Activities industry workforce (excluding Horse and Dog Racing Activities). Employment levels in these occupations are projected to further increase between 2018 and 2023, by 18.4% and 20.1% respectively.

Outdoor Adventure Guides currently make up less than 1% of the industry workforce, however the employment level for this occupation is projected to grow by 26.5% between 2018 and 2023.

Training trends

Training snapshot

There were approximately 9,650 program enrolments in Outdoor Recreation sector qualifications during 2017 and just under 3,600 completions. Enrolment levels have remained fairly stable between 2014 and 2017, while the number of completions have risen over the same period. The majority of training takes place at the certificate II level, with the intended occupation of Outdoor Adventure Instructor most common.

Private training providers account for 33% of all training, with approximately 32% delivered by enterprise training providers and TAFE institutes making up just over 18%. Over 70% of all training is Commonwealth and state funded, with domestic fee-for-service making up the majority of what remains.

For students who enrolled in 2017 over 60% resided in two states, Western Australia (37%) and Queensland (24%). With Victoria (17%) and New South Wales (16%) making up the majority of the remaining portion.

Apprentices and trainees only make up a small portion of total training within the outdoor recreation sector, and commencements have decreased by more than half between 2010 and 2017. Completions peaked in 2013 then declined rapidly reaching a low-point in 2015 before increasing again through to 2017, with 96 commencements. Completions have increased since 2015, rising from 68 to 104 in 2017. The majority of apprentices and trainees as at December 2017 were enrolled at the certificate III level and training towards the occupation of Outdoor Adventure Guide. Almost three quarters of apprenticeships and traineeships in 2017 were reported in New South Wales and about one fifth in Victoria.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, please visit NCVER’s VET students by industry.

For more data specific to your region please visit NCVER’s Atlas of Total VET. If you are prompted to log in, please select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, please sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

According to the 2018 IRC Skills Forecast for Sports and Recreation, the top priority skills required across the Sports and Recreation industry can be broken down as follows.

Top priority industry and occupation specific skills include an awareness of:

  • Sports governance
  • Drugs in sport
  • Integrity in sport.

Other top priority skills include:

  • Mentoring skills
  • Skills in diversity and inclusion
  • Presenting skills
  • Skills in child protection
  • Skills for responding to harassment and discrimination.

The top three generic skills identified in the Skills Forecast for Sports and Recreation were:

  • Communication / Virtual collaboration / Social intelligence
  • Customer Service / Marketing
  • Managerial / Leadership.

The importance of communication skills is supported by findings from the job vacancy data, in which communication was identified as the most in demand advertised generic skill in the Sports and Recreation Activities industry (excluding Horse and Dog Racing Activities).

According to the Sports and Recreation industry’s 2018 Skills Forecast, skills such as emotional perception, interpersonal connection, resilience, problem solving, and decision making are also particularly important for the outdoor workforce. Because the sector is expected to grow in the coming years, the Skills Forecast indicates that is critical for relevant training packages to include competencies relating to soft skills. These types of skills are included in the existing training package and some are currently being updated.

According to job vacancy data the most advertised occupations were for Fitness Instructors followed by Sports Coaches, Instructors and Officials.

The 2018 Sports and Recreation Skills Forecast explains that the size and scale of the outdoor recreation sector is often underestimated as very little quantifiable national data is available. However, according to research commissioned in New South Wales and Victoria, nature-based outdoor activities add $15.2 billion per year to the New South Wales and Victorian economies, supporting 152,000 jobs. Across both states, adults participate in nature-based outdoor recreation 99 million times in a year. 

The Sport and Recreation IRC's 2017 Skills Forecast reported that Outdoor Recreation employers in Australia are struggling to source adequately trained and skilled staff to meet the growth that the industry is experiencing. One issue in recruiting staff is the seasonal nature of Outdoor Recreation work. Depending on the time of year, potential employees must alternate between several skills specialisations and be willing to work in different regions to gain part-time and full-time work.

This is supported by findings from the 2013 National Outdoor Sector Survey which outlines the Outdoor Recreation sector’s difficulty in retaining and recruiting. According to this report, possible reasons for the difficulty in recruiting staff included the casual and part time nature of jobs and lack of opportunities to gain sector experience. The survey also highlighted a need for the development of soft skills within the industry workforce (for example, group management and facilitation).

The Environmental Scan 2015: Sport Fitness and Recreation reports that there is a demand for skills in the following areas of the Aquatic and Community Recreations sector:

  • Facilitation
  • Communication
  • Relationship management
  • Business management.

The report also highlights a shortage of outdoor leaders, which has led to some organisations linking with training organisations overseas to find graduates and increase their pool of candidates.

In addition to the key national reports and strategies discussed above, there are a number of jurisdictional and regional reports and plans which relate to the Outdoor Recreation industry sector in specific states, territories and regional areas. These reports are available on the websites listed in the Links and sources section available below.

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2018, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal

  • by ANZSIC 3 digit industries, employment projections to May 2023
    • 911 Sports and Physical Recreation Activities
    • 913 Amusement and Other Recreation Activities.
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2023
    • 4523 Sports Coaches, Instructors and Officials
    • 4521 Fitness Instructors
    • 4524 Sportspersons
    • 1491 Amusement, Fitness and Sports Centre Managers
    • 3623 Greenkeepers
    • 5421 Receptionists
    • 6211 Sales Assistants (General)
    • 4522 Outdoor Adventure Guides.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018, Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ06, viewed 1 November 2018 <http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202018?OpenDocument>

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 3 digit industries, 2000 to 2018, May Quarter
    • 911 Sports and Physical Recreation Activities
    • 913 Amusement and Other Recreation Activities.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by:
    • 910 Sports and Recreation Activities, nfd
    • 911 Sports and Physical Recreation Activities
    • 913 Amusement and Other Recreation Activities
    • 4 digit level occupations to identify the relevant VET-related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce.

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection and Total VET students and courses from the following training packages or qualifications:

  • SIS - Sport, Fitness and Recreation Training Package
    • SIS20210 - Certificate II in Outdoor Recreation
    • SIS20213 - Certificate II in Outdoor Recreation
    • SIS30410 - Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation
    • SIS30413 - Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation
    • SIS40310 - Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation
    • SIS40313 - Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation
    • SIS50310 - Diploma of Outdoor Recreation.
  • SRO - Outdoor Recreation Industry Training Package (Superseded by SIS)
    • SRO20206 - Certificate II in Outdoor Recreation
    • SRO30206 - Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation
    • SRO40206 - Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation
    • SRO50206 - Diploma of Outdoor Recreation
    • SRO20203 - Certificate II in Outdoor Recreation
    • SRO20299 - Certificate II in Outdoor Recreation
    • SRO20303 - Certificate II in Outdoor Recreation (Multiple activities)
    • SRO20306 - Certificate II in Outdoor Recreation (Multiple Activities)
    • SRO30203 - Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation
    • SRO30299 - Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation
    • SRO30303 - Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation (Multiple activities)
    • SRO30306 - Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation (Multiple Activities)
    • SRO40203 - Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation
    • SRO40299 - Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation.

Superseded qualifications and training packages are grouped with current training products. 

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 program enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 subject enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training.  Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document.

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality. 

SIS Sport, Fitness and Recreation Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee collection, including:

  • 2010 to 2017 commencements
  • 2010 to 2017 completions 
  • 2017 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2017 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Priority skills data have been extracted from the Sport and Recreation IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast.

Job vacancy data have been extracted from Burning Glass Technologies 2018, Labor Insight Real-time Labor Market Information Tool, Burning Glass Technologies, Boston, viewed July 2018, <https://www.burning-glass.com>.

Data shown represent most requested generic skills, occupations and employers according to internet job postings in Australia between July 2015 and June 2018 filtered by ANZSIC and ANZSCO classification levels listed below.

  • Generic skills / Occupations
    • Community and Personal Service Workers
    • Managers
    • Clerical and Administrative Workers
    • 9111 Health and Fitness Centres and Gymnasia Operation  
    • 9112 Sport and Physical Recreation Clubs and Sports Professionals  
    • 9113 Sports and Physical Recreation Venues, Grounds and Facilities Operation  
    • 9114 Sport and Physical Recreation Administrative Service  
    • 9131 Amusement Parks and Centres Operation  
    • 9139 Amusement and Other Recreation Activities n.e.c.
  • Employers
    • 4521 Fitness Instructors  
    • 4523 Sports Coaches, Instructors and Officials  
    • 5412 Information Officers  
    • 1311 Advertising, Public Relations and Sales Managers  
    • 4319 Other Hospitality Workers  
    • 9111 Health and Fitness Centres and Gymnasia Operation  
    • 9112 Sport and Physical Recreation Clubs and Sports Professionals  
    • 9113 Sports and Physical Recreation Venues, Grounds and Facilities Operation  
    • 9114 Sport and Physical Recreation Administrative Service  
    • 9131 Amusement Parks and Centres Operation
    • 9139 Amusement and Other Recreation Activities n.e.c.
Updated: 21 Dec 2018
To Top