Sector Skills Alliance representatives gathered in Brussels to focus on current trends and future opportunities in the European Active Leisure Sector

Representatives of the Sector Skills Alliance gathered in Brussels on Thursday 27th June 2019 to focus on the evolution and future trends of the European Active Leisure sector. The meeting was attended by representative employer and employee associations form the European Fitness and Outdoor Sector and representatives from DG EMPL, DG EAC and EACEA from the European Commission. The meeting was opened by chairperson Dr. Anna Szumilewicz from Gdansk University, followed by presentations from EuropeActive’s Director of Programmes Cliff Collins and EU Policy Officer Elisabeth Thienemann.

Both Ms Thienemann and EO-CE representative Jean-Yves Lapèyere shared a summary of previous sub-group meetings, research and trend analysis of the active leisure sector. They unveiled key figures related to employers’ needs, currently vacant positions in the fitness sector in the European Union and future trends in the sector. Mr. Lapèyere also placed the focus on soft skills as key elements for the development of the European Outdoor sector.

Policy Officer for the Skills and Qualifications Unit (DG EMPL, European Commission) Felix Rohn addressed the audience to introduce the new Erasmus+ project call: Platforms of centres for vocational excellence. He also revealed good practice examples for SSA Project and how to make the most of it.

The meeting moved on to a brainstorming session in which participants were divided into two small groups to discuss about future possibilities and challenges from the Fitness and Outdoor perspective. Every idea and outcome were shared afterwards in a plenary session. Delegates also seated together to come up with a joined strategy for the Active Leisure sector which will feed into the Blueprint for skills and employment cooperation project. The session was closed with an Sector Skills Alliance Pledge to highlight the joined mission of the group.

The late afternoon gave way with Maria-Luisa Fernandez-Esteban, Deputy Head of the Sport Unit, to update the audience from the European Commission perspective on the ongoing work related to skills and employment in the European sport and Active Leisure sector.

Some concluding remarks from Dr. Anna Szumilewicz, Vice Dean for Education Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport, finished the first joined meeting of the Sector Skills Alliance for Active Leisure. The SSA-subsector Fitness will meet again 21-22 November 2019 in Copenhagen, Denmark as part of the International Standards Meeting. More information will be shared in due time.

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