What are the most in-demand skills in sport and physical activity?

We have analysed data from EMSI – specialists in labour market analytics and economic data – to reveal the industries where different workplace skills are in the highest demand, and how these compare to the demand from sport and physical activity employers.

Have a look at how different common skills are in demand in different industries using the thermometer tool below…

Communication, enthusiasm and management are the top three ‘soft’ skills in demand in sport and physical activity. Employers list these in job descriptions more often than any others.

20% of online job descriptions for roles in sport and physical activity list ‘communication skills’ as essential in the ideal candidate.

The need for enthusiasm comes up in 18% of all job postings. 17% of postings cited management skills as necessary.

When looking at ‘hard skills’ more specific to the sport and physical activity workforce, we can start to see where gaps exist between the demand from employers and the supply from applicants.

The biggest gap between demand and supply lies within physical therapy: 27% of employers are looking for expertise in this field. Only 3% of applicants have it in their skill profile.

Rehabilitation and fitness training skills also have a big gap between demand and supply in our sector. These are two of the most sought-after skills by employers. But only 2% of applicants mention rehabilitation skills in their applications.

At the opposite end of the skill gap spectrum is a range of health and safety skills. Based on the EMSI data, skills like health assessments and risk analysis have some of the best supply from prospective employees, relative to demand in job descriptions.


Data Methodology

The data for this study was sourced from labour market analysts at EMSI, an official partner of CIMSPA - (​​The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity).

The demand for skills, sourced from EMSI, comes from their economic modeling interface and the data refers to the number of skill mentions in job postings per sector. The supply side of the study, also extracted from EMSI’s economic modelling section, is based on recently updated online CVs and application profiles where different skills are mentioned.

To rank the hard skills in the sport and physical activity industry we ranked the following columns individually: demand for skill, supply for skill and number of job postings. Where there is a higher demand and lower supply, the skills gap is higher.


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