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Overview

Provides information and data on the Sport sector, which is one component of the Sport, Fitness and Recreation industry.

The sports industry is made up of a variety of entities that are all largely driven by the widespread popularity of sport in Australia. Over 90% of Australian adults have an interest in sport, with 8.4 million adults and 3 million children participating in sport each year. Most entities that make up the Sport sector are small scale enterprises that are member owned and rely on the contributions of community members and volunteers, however, the Australian Government makes a significant contribution to Australian sport, with over $357 million being invested to support sport and recreation activities and facilities in 2016–17. In addition, significant contributions are made at state and local government levels.

Vocational education and training (VET) is required for a range of Sport related occupations such as:

  • Sports Coaches, Instructors and Officials
  • Sports and Fitness Workers.

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

For more information on Aquatic and Community Recreation, Outdoor Recreation and Fitness 
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.

Sports Coaches, Instructors and Officials make up 16% of the Sport and Recreation Activities industry workforce (excluding Horse and Dog Racing Activities) with Sportspersons accounting for over 6%. Employment levels for both of these occupations are projected to increase between 2018 and 2023, by 20.1% and 17.7% respectively.

Training trends

Training snapshot

There were approximately 48,700 enrolments in Sport sector qualifications during 2017 and over 14,000 completions. Both enrolments and completions have increased overall between 2014 and 2017, however there was a slight decrease in completions between 2016 and 2017 (falling from nearly 15,800 to around 14,000). A large portion of training takes place at the certificate II and III level in Sport and Recreation qualifications.

For 2017 enrolments in Sport sector qualifications, there were three main intended occupations for the training:

  • Sports and Fitness Workers
  • General Clerks
  • Sports Coaches, Instructors and Officials.

Private training providers account for nearly 50% of all training with approximately 19% delivered by enterprise training providers, and schools making up 20%. Over 55% of training in sport coaching qualifications takes place in schools.

Over 60% of all training is Commonwealth and state funded, with domestic fee-for-service making up the majority of the remaining portion.

For enrolments in 2017 the largest proportion of students resided in Victoria (34%), followed by Western Australia (25%) and Queensland (20%).

Apprentice and trainee commencements and completions peaked in 2012 before decreasing sharply in 2013. Completions continued to decline between 2013 and 2016, however an increase has occurred in 2017, up to 1,181. Commencements also declined further between 2013 and 2015 before increasing slightly in 2016 and 2017 to 1,471. A large portion of the apprenticeship and trainee training as at December 2017 was for the Certificate III in Sport and Recreation qualification with the intended occupation of Sports and Fitness Workers. The bulk of apprenticeships and traineeships were reported in Queensland (39%), followed by New South Wales (27%) and Western Australia (14%).

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, please visit NCVER’s VET students by industry. If you are prompted to log in, please select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

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 Sport and Recreation IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast, 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 job vacancy data the most advertised occupations were for Fitness Instructors followed by Sports Coaches, Instructors and Officials.

In May 2017, the Hon. Greg Hunt, Commonwealth Minister for Sport announced the development of a National Sport Plan. The Plan aims to establish a shared set of national expectations for the sport and physical activity sectors, and it will be based on four key pillars, which recognise the fundamental contribution sport makes to society. These include:

  • Prevention through physical activity – recognising the role that sport plays in supporting the health and wellbeing of Australians
  • Participation – recognising the role that sport plays in supporting communities to come together to compete, play and get active
  • Performance – recognising the Government’s commitment to high performance sport in Australia
  • Integrity – recognising the importance of honesty and fair play in all levels of sport, from community and grassroots through to elite sport.

Stakeholder consultations were completed in 2018, with results outlined in the Consultation Phase for the Development of the National Sport Plan report.

The future of Australian sport: megatrends shaping the sports sector over coming decades identifies six sports megatrends that are likely to shape the Australian Sport sector over the next 30 years.  Several of these trends are likely to have an impact on the skills needs of the Sport sector including:

  • an increase in individualised sport and fitness activities (for example, running, aerobics) and decrease in organised sport participation
  • the rise of lifestyle, adventure and alternative sports creating requirements for new skills and knowledge
  • population and income growth throughout Asia may present the Australian Sport sector with opportunities for sports tourism, services and events.

The Environmental Scan 2015: Sport Fitness and Recreation highlights a demand for skills in the following areas of the Sport sector:

  • Business and Governance (particularly at the grass roots level)
  • Communication
  • Developing new products
  • Coaching.

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 Sport 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
    • SIS10110 - Certificate I in Sport and Recreation
    • SIS10112 - Certificate I in Sport and Recreation
    • SIS10113 - Certificate I in Sport and Recreation
    • SIS10115 - Certificate I in Sport and Recreation
    • SIS20115 - Certificate II in Sport and Recreation
    • SIS20310 - Certificate II in Sport and Recreation
    • SIS20312 - Certificate II in Sport and Recreation
    • SIS20313 - Certificate II in Sport and Recreation
    • SIS20410 - Certificate II in Sport Career Oriented Participation
    • SIS20412 - Certificate II in Sport Career Oriented Participation
    • SIS20510 - Certificate II in Sport Coaching
    • SIS20512 - Certificate II in Sport Coaching
    • SIS20513 - Certificate II in Sport Coaching
    • SIS30115 - Certificate III in Sport and Recreation
    • SIS30510 - Certificate III in Sport and Recreation
    • SIS30512 - Certificate III in Sport and Recreation
    • SIS30513 - Certificate III in Sport and Recreation
    • SIS30610 - Certificate III in Sport Career Oriented Participation
    • SIS30612 - Certificate III in Sport Career Oriented Participation
    • SIS30613 - Certificate III in Sport Career Oriented Participation
    • SIS30710 - Certificate III in Sport Coaching
    • SIS30712 - Certificate III in Sport Coaching
    • SIS30713 - Certificate III in Sport Coaching
    • SIS30810 - Certificate III in Sports Trainer
    • SIS30812 - Certificate III in Sports Trainer
    • SIS30813 - Certificate III in Sports Trainer
    • SIS40115 - Certificate IV in Sport and Recreation
    • SIS40410 - Certificate IV in Sport and Recreation
    • SIS40412 - Certificate IV in Sport and Recreation
    • SIS40510 - Certificate IV in Sport Coaching
    • SIS40512 - Certificate IV in Sport Coaching
    • SIS40610 - Certificate IV in Sport Development
    • SIS40612 - Certificate IV in Sport Development
    • SIS50115 - Diploma of Sport and Recreation Management
    • SIS50410 - Diploma of Sport and Recreation Administration
    • SIS50510 - Diploma of Sport Coaching
    • SIS50512 - Diploma of Sport Coaching
    • SIS50610 - Diploma of Sport Development
    • SIS50612 - Diploma of Sport Development
    • SIS50712 - Diploma of Sport and Recreation Management.
  • SRO - Outdoor Recreation Industry Training Package (Superseded by SIS)
    • SRO10106 - Certificate I in Sport and Recreation
    • SRO20103 - Certificate II in Sport and Recreation
    • SRO20106 - Certificate II in Sport and Recreation
    • SRO30106 - Certificate III in Sport and Recreation
    • SRO20199 - Certificate II in Sport and Recreation
    • SRO30103 - Certificate III in Sport and Recreation
    • SRO30199 - Certificate III in Sport and Recreation
    • SRO40103 - Certificate IV in Sport and Recreation
    • SRO40106 - Certificate IV in Sport and Recreation
    • SRO40199 - Certificate IV in Sport and Recreation
    • SRO50199 - Diploma of Sport and Recreation.
  • SRS - Sport Industry Training Package (Superseded by SIS)
    • SRS20206 - Certificate II in Sport (Career-oriented participation)
    • SRS20306 - Certificate II in Sport (Coaching)
    • SRS30306 - Certificate III in Sport (Coaching)
    • SRS30406 - Certificate III in Sport (Officiating)
    • SRS40206 - Certificate IV in Sport (Coaching)
    • SRS40506 - Certificate IV in Sport (Development)
    • SRS50506 - Diploma of Sport (Development)
    • SRS20203 - Certificate II in Sport (Career-oriented participation)
    • SRS20299 - Certificate II in Sport (Career Oriented Participation)
    • SRS20303 - Certificate II in Sport (Coaching)
    • SRS20399 - Certificate II in Sport (Officiating)
    • SRS20403 - Certificate II in Sport (Officiating)
    • SRS20406 - Certificate II in Sport (Officiating)
    • SRS30203 - Certificate III in Sport (Career-oriented participation)
    • SRS30206 - Certificate III in Sport (Career-oriented participation)
    • SRS30299 - Certificate III in Sport (Career Oriented Participation)
    • SRS30303 - Certificate III in Sport (Coaching)
    • SRS30399 - Certificate III in Sport (Coaching)
    • SRS30403 - Certificate III in Sport (Officiating)
    • SRS30499 - Certificate III in Sport (Officiating)
    • SRS30503 - Certificate III in Sport (Athlete support services)
    • SRS30506 - Certificate III in Sport (Athlete support services)
    • SRS30599 - Certificate III in Sport (Trainer)
    • SRS30601 - Certificate III in Sport (Massage Therapy)
    • SRS40203 - Certificate IV in Sport (Coaching)
    • SRS40299 - Certificate IV in Sport (Coaching)
    • SRS40399 - Certificate IV in Sport (Development)
    • SRS40403 - Certificate IV in Sport (Athlete support services)
    • SRS40406 - Certificate IV in Sport (Athlete support services)
    • SRS40503 - Certificate IV in Sport (Development).

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
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