Looking for a career in sports - head to the 'Biggest Club in Town'

| Tuesday 1st August 2023 0:00am

Looking for a career in sports? Head to the Biggest Club in Town

Edinburgh Leisure is not alone in the recruitment challenges facing everyone now. There are several external factors – Brexit and COVID-19 in particular – that have led to a large reduction in the labour workforce across the country.

A reduction in the number of candidates has led to increased competition from employers to find good candidates to fill their roles. As a result of the pandemic, we’re also discovering that many young people are lacking the skills, experience and most importantly, the confidence to apply for vacant roles. This has seen them disengage from the world of work and has created a challenge in how we recruit.

Whilst having a competitive labour market is good for candidates seeking work, Edinburgh Leisure has had to adapt accordingly and review how we have traditionally recruited for many of our positions. 

These are just some of the ways the Biggest Club in Town is tackling the recruitment issues head on.

1. Recruitment Open Days
Making a positive impact on people’s health and wellbeing is at the heart of what we do.  If you’re looking to get a career in sport, as the biggest club in town, Edinburgh Leisure is a great starting point.

Our Recruitment Open Days take place at The Royal Commonwealth Pool, aka as the Commie, and happen more or less every two months. We advertise the roles we are looking to fill but if you have the skills, we may hire into multiple entry-level posts which may include welcome hosts, sports attendants, catering, cleaners, and soft play assistants. So, if you have some relevant skills, keep an eye on our website and apply.

What’s in it for you?  You’ll need to register before the day, but you’ll be offered the opportunity to attend a simple competency-based interview. 

If you’re looking for a wet side role such as a lifeguard, there would be a wet/swim test on the day. But don’t worry, if you don’t have an NPLQ qualification, if you have the skills and are successful, we will put you through the NPLQ (National Pool Lifeguarding Qualification), at our expense.  Training dates are offered throughout the year.  

Some great benefits
We also have one of the greatest benefits packages in the industry. These are all the benefits that you’re entitled to:

        Generous holiday allowance (32 days, rising with service up to 40 days)

        Paid sick leave

        Company pension

        Flexible working hours

        Opportunities for training, career growth and development

        Free membership across all our centres with access to fitness classes, gyms, and swimming pools

        Cycle-to-work scheme

        Access to discounts with a huge number of retailers (saving money in cinemas, restaurants, clothing, and electronics shops, on insurance and healthcare and much more

        Additional leave

        Bereavement leave

        Casual dress

        Company events

        Employee mentoring programme

        Enhanced maternity leave

        Enhanced paternity leave

2. Coaching
We are excited to grow our coaching programme to ensure that we can help others fulfil their potential to achieve a healthier more active life. If you have a talent for coaching and a gift for delivering the best learning experience possible, we’d love to hear from you.

Being a coach with Edinburgh Leisure opens a world of opportunities with many benefits so that you can make the most of coaching with us.  Wherever you are on the map or in life, we have roles for swim and dive coaches, gymnastics teachers, tennis, and sports coaches.

We look for friendly, positive, and enthusiastic individuals that have previous experience in delivering quality, entertaining coaching practices, and relevant coaching qualifications.

In return we can offer:

        a variety of Full-Time/Part-Time/Flexible positions available so that you can make coaching whatever you want it to be.

        Support for you to gain professional qualifications whilst coaching for us.

        Discounted use of Edinburgh Leisure’s amazing facilities across the city

        An opportunity to make a difference as part of a valued coaching team.

Get into coaching
Interested in coaching but not yet qualified, Edinburgh Leisure can support you in gaining your qualifications.

As part of our development opportunities, we will help you to get qualified, such as gaining a UKCC General 1 qualification, before offering you a role in our valued coaching team.

Coaching Academy

Our series of coaching academies provide nationally recognised qualifications that will enable successful learners to lead safe and enjoyable sports/physical activity.

Targeted at young people aged 16-24 years, and fully funded through Edinburgh Leisure’s Active Communities, The Coaching Academy will assist young people to learn new skills for the job market, using the capacity of sports coaching to transform lives, increase motivation, encourage learning, and support personal development, with learning focused on studying for a sport leadership qualification and sports’ specific coaching course qualifications.

3. Trainee Programme
This initiative recruits new, unqualified gymnastics coaches and swim teachers.  It employs the new recruits onto part-time permanent contracts whilst they complete the relevant coaching/teaching qualifications and mentoring hours. And we cover all your expenses, while you get qualified. And at the end of the training, providing you meet the grade, you could be offered a job.


In September 2022, because of this, we recruited five new swim teachers and four new Level 1 gymnastics coaches currently in training to become qualified.

4. College Programme
In partnership with Edinburgh College, Edinburgh Leisure and Scottish Swimming, Edinburgh Leisure started a new piece of shared work to encourage more students into work whilst carrying out their learning.

The students are currently completing their sports studies and complete a work placement module with Edinburgh Leisure, whilst going through the SSTQ and mentoring with us.

5. The Prince’s Trust

The Prince’s Trust believes that every young person should have the chance to succeed, no matter what their background or challenges they may be facing. They work with young people from disadvantaged communities and those facing the greatest adversity by supporting them to build confidence and skills to live, learn and earn.

Edinburgh Leisure is delighted to have been working in partnership with the Prince’s Trust to support four young people, all who went on to gain the NPLC qualification, with 2 being offered posts, while the other two found employment in their local community. le, et an opportunity for a career in sport.

Our next intake will be in February 2024.  If you are interested, visit the Prince’s Trust to sign up. The next cohort should be promoted around October/November 2023.

6. Become a Class Instructor
If you have a love of sport, there’s a range of opportunities for freelance Fitness Instructor jobs, which gives instructors and coaches the freedom necessary to operate a successful fitness class and coaching programme across the city. If you’d like to know more about becoming a Fitness Class Instructor contact:

7. Gym Instructor

Our gym instructors are an integral part of helping inspire and guide our customers to get the most out of their workout.

With 17 state-of-the-art gyms, we’re always on the lookout for experienced gym instructors, with a minimum level 2 qualification, although many of our instructors have additional training to assist with specialisms such as rehabilitation, small group exercise and Strength and Conditioning, and Long Covid. Check out our latest vacancies.

8. Volunteer

Time on your hands and looking to volunteer.  You don’t have to be an elite sportsperson to still enjoy a career in sport.  We have so many opportunities including supporting specialist instructors and administration roles as well.

At Edinburgh Leisure, our wonderful volunteers play a vital role in supporting people in our Active Communities programme. They make an enormous difference to people’s lives and, quite simply, many of our projects couldn’t exist without them.

No matter which role you undertake as a volunteer, training and support is provided.
Find out more and register your interest.  There are so many different opportunities available, and not only will you be helping our participants but many of our volunteers report that they get as much out of volunteering as the participants. See more here.

9. Career Development Opportunities

Are you currently working in hospitality, retail, or other customer service environments but looking for a career change?  Then you may want to join our team as an Operations Supervisor.

A background in leisure operations is not essential but we look for people with an an inquisitive, analytical, and organised mind who love working in a fast-paced environment.  A genuine interest in people and instinctively knowing how to get the best out of them helps too.

As an Operations Supervisor, you will be responsible for running the shift, delivering great customer service, and looking after our staff and customers. For roles in any of our venues with a pool you will need to be a strong swimmer and capable of achieving a lifeguard pool qualification. Training will be provided if you do not already hold the qualification.

Interested?  Keep your eyes on the Edinburgh Leisure website and apply.  The roles are advertised regularly.

For a career with Edinburgh Leisure, visit the careers section of the Edinburgh Leisure website. Click here to find out more.

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