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ENGSO Youth at EU workshop “Skills and workforce development challenges in the sport sector”

“Employment of young people in sport fell by 17% from Q1 to Q2 in 2020.”


ENGSO Youth committee member Anett Fodor participated in the EU workshop “Skills and workforce development challenges in the sport sector”, organised by European Observatoire of Sport and Employment (EOSE) and held on 7 December 2020.


The main point of discussion was the newly released statistics about the impact of COVID-19 on employment in sport (which was presented by Aurélien Favre, Executive Director of EOSE). Data showed that prior to the pandemic, sport employment was on the rise, and the sport sector was considered stable and growing coming into 2020.


Other main characteristics of the EU-28 sport employment data for 2019 include:

· More male than female as paid staff

· Growing proportion of youth and 50 year+

· High percentage of people on part-time contracts versus EU average

· Higher percentage of self-employed people versus EU average

· More workers with higher education qualifications than the EU average and less with low level of qualification

In the first two quarters of 2020, total sport employment in EU-28 fell by 3.3% according to official statistics.


Breakdown by gender

The most striking and significant is the breakdown of figures by gender. By the end of Q2 of 2020, there were 9.6% less female sport workers than at the end of 2019, compared to 1.3% less male sport workers.


Youth sport

Employment of young people in sport (age 15-24) fell by 17% from Q1 to Q2 in 2020. Employment for the age groups 25-49 and 50+ was much more stable or even grew in the same period.

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During the discussion the participants agreed:

· Agreement that the scale of disparity of employment impact on male and female is of huge concern and requires further study and targeted measures.

· In the fitness sector and among operators of sport facilities the situation could be worse than indicated in the data and Q3 and Q4 could be particularly bad for the sector.

· There is a need, and in some cases much increased demand, for skills to retrain and serve new trends in sport participation.

· Sport and physical activity must be part of the Covid-19 recovery plan.


All participants also concluded it is essential to gather, analyse and debate labour market statistics for the sport sector with an aim to present the size and value of the sector (also for youth).


Statement from ENGSO Youth committee member Anett Fodor: The event was highly interesting and useful because participants were representing different sport communities which resulted in different insights, however with a great understanding of each sector and cooperation towards each. I believe that the sport sector will not be able to recover from COVID-19 by itself, therefore to strengthen the partnerships inside the sector and outside with other sectors (such as retail, tourism, innovation, technology, healthcare, etc.) is really important. This kind of great example of potential collaboration is very much needed and I was happy to be a part of it.



EOSE is one of the 5 partners in the project SK4YS, led by ENGSO Youth. Learn more: www.youth-sport.net/sk4ys

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