Aquatic Staff Shortage
Summary Part 1
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The shortage of qualified lifeguards and instructors is an ongoing issue for the aquatics community both in the public and private sector. It is important that we are able to continue to provide the best aquatics programs and services we can to our members and clients.
The problem is not solely based in any one area, but has been widespread across a few; wages, recruitment and staff retention. Causes vary greatly from region to region in our province. It is important to look objectively at the issues which are surrounding our lack of qualified staff.
Attracting and retaining qualified Aquatic staff is not determined by wages alone. There are certainly other factors influencing the lack of qualified staff shortages. Retention and recruitment strategies, as well as attracting youth to aquatic leadership courses is an ongoing area issue Several organizations are working together to share ideas and research.
In December 2014, The Toronto Cricket Club hosted a meeting for private clubs and swim schools to examine the problem and share information, ideas, and strategies to address this ongoing concern. The first major outcome of the meeting was the founding of the Professional Aquatics Committee. PAC is a volunteer, non-profit association of dedicated Canadian aquatics professionals, who are providing recreation programs and services in the private sector. The second was the launch of the Aquatic Staff Shortage Study.
This project will consist of several phases; the collection of Aquatics wage data for the province of Ontario (January 2015 - Dec. 2015), being Part 1. The outcome of this collection will be presented by region and by Aquatic Sector and reflects the wages for the 2014-15 season.
Current research now is being conducted with a Gap Analysis of staff recruitment by region. This involves the comparison of actual performance - number of aquatic staff positions filled- with potential or desired performance -number of positions available.
I want to thank all of those Aquatics professionals who contributed data Municipalities, YMCA’s, University’s, Private Clubs and Swim Schools.
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