CIMSPA launches ReTrain - a £1.5m training initiative funded by Sport England



Quick look

  • Major investment in training for the sport and physical activity workforce.
  • Free training for employers in England, focused on areas of most need.
  • Risk of up to 6% of workforce not returning to the sector.

Following the recent launch of ReActivate (providing free Covid-19 awareness training for individuals) CIMSPA today launches ReTrain - a £1.5m training initiative designed to retool the sport and physical activity workforce, funded by The National Lottery through Sport England.

With a recent CIMSPA survey indicating that up to 6% of the activity workforce (30,000 people) are planning to leave the sector, ReTrain will be a vital resource to support employers by providing free training for staff, enabling them to work in new roles. This will help employers in England to continue providing valuable sport and leisure services to their local communities, with a particular focus on areas of social deprivation.

Employer partners of CIMSPA, CLUK and ukactive, based in England, are invited to identify their skills gaps and apply to CIMSPA for Phase 1 of the free training at All training provided through ReTrain will be delivered by accredited CIMSPA Training Provider Partners.

During Phase 1, the focus will be on courses that lead to new CIMSPA endorsed qualifications to help businesses recover after lockdown. The initial priorities for funding will be:
  • Qualifications that are endorsed against the sector’s Professional Standards; for example, qualifications for Group Exercise Instructors, Gym Instructors, Personal Trainers, Swimming Teachers, Lifeguards, Sports Coaches and Pool Plant Operators.
  • Sites based in England, in areas of socio-economic deprivation.
In subsequent phases, later this year, ReTrain will also provide support for courses that deliver CPD points.

As a key part of ReTrain, CIMSPA has partnered with the Royal Life Saving Society to provide £400k of lifeguard training. This will help to meet an urgent need for around 11,000 new lifeguards to be trained, allowing swimming pools to open safely.

Colin Huffen, Head of Education, CIMSPA, commented:
“Staying fit and healthy is one of the best ways to combat the threat of Covid-19, and the sport and physical activity workforce will play a vital role in keeping the nation fit and healthy as we go forward. There is a real risk, however, of a significant number of people not returning to work in the sector after lockdown. ReTrain is a major investment in addressing this and helping employers to plug any skills gaps they have, enabling them to continue providing this vital service to the public. Thanks go to Sport England and everyone who plays the National Lottery, raising £30m per week for good causes such as ReTrain.”

Tim Hollingsworth, CEO, Sport England, said:
“Sport and physical activity play a crucial role in our health and wellbeing and we recognise the vital role of those who work in the leisure sector who help to keep our communities active. It is absolutely vital to give everyone who needs it access to the resources and training they need to return to their roles, and this is why we have invested in ReTrain and ReActivate.”Any employer in England in partnership with CIMSPA, ukactive or Community Leisure UK can find out more and apply at the link below.

Employers can also contact CIMSPA directly for further information:
North West/West Midlands/South West/London (Central, North, West):
North East/Yorkshire and Humber/East Midlands/East of England/South East/London (East, South):

Training providers interested in becoming a CIMSPA Training Provider Partner are welcome to apply here.

Incorporated by Royal Charter Charity registration number 1144545

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