Local economy benefiting from SkillsActive’s sector

shutterstock_77005810 With signs that local businesses are diversifying into the lucrative sports technology market and the recent merger of the Hair and Beauty industries into the SkillsActive footprint, the Active Leisure, Learning and Well-being sector is set to make a stronger contribution to the local economy.

Harry Porter of thinkTASC and a member of the newly established Sports Tech NI Network agrees that business leaders and entrepreneurs are beginning to see the market potential of sport: “The global sports industry is growing faster than national GDP rates around the world and the global sports value chain – its size, make-up and revenues – has significant growth prospects for the future. It’s also a wide-ranging industry that includes STEM areas such as textiles, engineering, and biotechnology products for well-being and high performance sport.”

With twice the national average of young people employed in the SkillsActive sectors, Siobhan Weir, SkillsActive’s Northern Ireland manager is optimistic that the combined strengths of the seven sectors will make a positive contribution to DEL’s Success through Skills strategy: “Over the last decade, employment in our Sport, Fitness, Outdoor, Caravan and Playwork sectors has grown at more than one and a half times the rate of the Northern Ireland economy.”

One of SkillsActive’s priorities is to work with employers and Government to ensure the sector is recognised as an emerging priority area. “I’ve seen the SkillsActive industry double in size in 10 years thanks to an increase in healthier lifestyles and a rise in organised active leisure time,” explains Jim Rose, Chair of SkillsActive’s Northern Ireland Employer Committee. “With the growth of sport into high value added sectors and our expansion into the prosperous Hair and Beauty sectors, the timing seems right to explore with Government our true economic impact.”

Contact: Siobhan Weir
Northern Ireland Manager
SkillsActive: The Sector Skills Council for Active Leisure, Learning & Well-being
028 9756 2007


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