About Skills Alliance

Qld Fitness, Sport and Recreation, Skills Alliance has been providing advice, products and services to the industry and government for the past 20 years.



The Queensland Fitness, Sport & Recreation (QFSR) Skills Alliance is the peak body for workforce development of our industry in Queensland.

QFSR Skills Alliance works closely with peak bodies, industry organisations and associations, employers and individuals to ensure we are the voice of the industry in relation to the skills and training needs and other workforce development issues.  This includes working with Service Skills Australia, and the Queensland and Australian governments.

A healthy vibrant industry ensures it has a trained and qualified workforce, that has up-to-date skills in adequate numbers to provide the services where they are required.

Proper workforce development assists industry to attract and retain workers.  In the fitness, sport and recreation industry this applies to both paid employees and volunteers.

Vision & Mission

Vision & Mission

Our Vision

Our vision is that industry operates at maximum effectiveness, through a workforce that is skilled to meet the needs of the industry.

Our Mission

Our mission is to assist industry to achieve workforce development related outcomes 1) strategically by serving as a forum for industry stakeholders to identify issues and associated solutions to industry workforce development challenges, and 2) operationally by undertaking workforce development related projects and offering enterprise and sector/industry level products, services and advice.

We attempt to achieve this mission by:

  • providing advice to and working with government to deliver the annual workforce development plan on behalf of the fitness, sport and recreation industry throughout Queensland
  • supporting and encouraging industry networks to collaboratively work together to identify, influence and implement solutions to workforce development needs and challenges
  • collecting information from industry on issues, needs and trends, and reporting this information to both government and industry
  • brokering and undertaking projects that support workforce development in the industry
  • developing workforce planning and development products, services and information to assist industry to effectively attract, develop and retain its workforce
  • providing advice to training organisations, industry and government on industry training needs, products and expectations.


Policy Platform

Policy Platform

Queensland Fitness, Sport and Recreation (QFSR) Skills Alliance is a not-for profit industry peak body that leads and influences workforce development and innovation in Queensland’s fitness, sport and recreation industry.  Our vision is that industry operates at maximum effectiveness, through a workforce that is skilled to meet the current and future needs of the industry.  This can be challenging for a workforce that is dominated by small to medium enterprises and heavily reliant on its volunteer workforce.

In order to achieve quality industry outcomes, QFSR Skills Alliance asks that the following policy platform is supported by the State Labor Government.

  1. Recognition that the fitness, sport and recreation industry makes a valued, significant economic and social contribution to the State of Queensland and this is reflected in Queensland Government investment policies and programs.

The economic benefit of fitness, sport and recreation on Queensland is significant. Direct economic gains are derived from hosting major and other sporting events, activity in the recreation and fitness sectors, and from building sporting and recreation infrastructure which provides jobs and employment.

Sport is estimated to contribute $7.9 billion (or 3 percent of Gross State Product (GSP)) to the economy through direct and indirect economic activity.  Outdoor recreation is estimated to contribute at least $2 billion to GSP.

At a local level, with over 9,000 sport and active recreation clubs in Queensland that run weekend competitions and countless recreational activities, as well as regional and local community events, the impact and contribution to local regional economies is substantial.

The role of sport and recreation in the health reform agenda aimed at improving health and wellbeing is gaining recognition as the population ages and the rates of chronic disease increase and public health care costs rise.  Physical activity is shown to reduce obesity and other chronic health conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, mental health issues and stress.

The impacts of the fitness, sport and recreation industry are far reaching and benefit all industries in terms of increased productivity of employees. Productivity benefits are realised through less sick leave, reduced workers compensation claims and payouts, mentally resilient workers, and reduced stress.

In addition sport and recreation builds communities through social inclusion and a sense of identity and connection to a community.

We have a direct linkage with and support the growth of the Queensland tourism industry through a range of sport and outdoor recreation activities for tourists.  Outdoor Adventure Guides are nominated as an occupation expected to show the greatest level of excess demand over the next five years.  Growth in nature-based and eco-tourism as well as adventure tourism is expected.

The fitness, sport and recreation industry is not often regarded as a key industry that contributes economically, or is nominated as a key government policy priority.

While government policy for the industry targets increasing participation rates, overall there is a need for shared policy agendas with portfolios across government – including sport and recreation, health, education and training, tourism, economic development, and communities.  This approach will ensure sport and recreation activities help achieve broader government objectives.

The driving force of our industry is its workforce – both the paid and unpaid.  Small not-for-profit organisations that dominate the sport sector in particular, are run by a wide variety of volunteers.  Volunteers contribute $47 billion to the Queensland economy annually.  Volunteering rates are higher outside capital cities with 38 percent participation compared to 32 percent in the cities, and emphasises the support they provide to regional communities.

Therefore QFSR Skills Alliance seeks a commitment to:

  • A holistic approach to fitness, sport and recreation which recognises the industry contribution to a range of economic and social outcomes.
  •  Policy, program and investment decisions that recognise the positive impacts that fitness, sport and recreation make to Queensland – economically, and through productivity gains, social and community cohesion, preventative health benefits and tourism links.
  •  Connect sport and recreation activities with other policy agendas to help deliver broader economic, community and social development objectives.
  1. Strategic and flexible employment, workforce development, skills and training programs and funding arrangements to:
  • Support small to medium enterprises that do not have the capacity to invest in skills and training and are volunteer reliant;
  • Engage disadvantaged learner groups back into a learning environment or employment through the provision of industry specific skills; and
  • Build industry capacity by improving club and organisational governance.

 The Queensland fitness, sport and recreation industry is dominated by micro, small and medium sized clubs and organisations, many of which are volunteer reliant.

QFSR Skills Alliance will back any Government policy or program that provides support for these organisations and recognises what they deliver and contribute at the state and local level.   For example, any government policy or program that builds the capacity of the club’s workforce to enable them to deliver participation outcomes for a sport or recreation activity.

Queensland sport and recreation industry needs assistance to improve industry governance, board capacity, financial viability and efficient administration, as well as workforce development and training for paid employees and non-paid volunteer coaches, officials and administrators.

Some of the workforce issues and skills and training needs of our industry are unique due to the size and nature of the some sectors (e.g. aquatics and outdoor recreation).  Government must recognise that some skills and training needs of smaller industries may not fit within the general guidelines or context of policy objectives.  However, if the need is ongoing, consistent, and emergent then Government policy must be flexible and responsive to meet the demands of industry.  The consequence is market failure and an imminent skill shortage for the region.  For example, skill set training for the aquatics and outdoor recreation sectors.

Over the past five years, QFSR Skills Alliance has undertaken a brokerage role for the State Government to provide training in areas of identified industry need (i.e. Productivity Places Program and Strategic Investment Fund, Industry Partnerships Strategy).  This was a particularly responsive and effective way to align and address specific needs as identified by industry.

Sport and recreation activities are expected to continue moderate growth. Projected growth to November 2018 is expected to be 8.7 percent.  This growth rate is higher than the predicted overall rate of 7.2 percent for all industries for this period.

Training to meet this jobs growth over the short, medium and long term requires careful planning.  This is to ensure there are new workers able to meet future industry growth, maintain current workforce numbers and replace workers lost through attrition rates. If government policy and investment are prioritised only on growth rates, the industry will not meet future demand for workers.

While Vocational Education and Training (VET) training is needed to maintain skilled workers to meet projected growth and demand of all our key occupations, there are some identifiable gaps in the market that form the industry’s top skills and training priorities:

  • Swimming Instructors and Lifeguard (Aquatics Skill Sets)
  • Small business management training
  • Outdoor Recreation Certificate III and IV qualifications
  • Outdoor Recreation Skill Sets

QFSR Skills Alliance welcomes the State Labor Government’s policies to rescue the VET sector in Queensland, and restore Queensland’s reputation as a quality training provider.  In particular those policies which create a TAFE environment where innovation, flexibility and industry focus are paramount and the move to a more sustainable level of contestability.

There are also other workforce development and labour market issues for the industry:

  • High turnover – due to a variety of systemic issues, but most commonly, the lack of industry defined career pathways, a high reliance on a casual workforce and the perception of the industry as lacking in prestige, are seen as the core determinants of retention issues
  • Low wages – Wages for paid employees in the industry are low compared with other industries, so employees leave the industry
  • Lack of career path – Career pathways can be limiting within the sector due to flat structures
  • Volunteers – organisations cite the need for funding/grants for training for volunteers – this would be the number one emergent and critical need of organisations across all sectors
  • Recruitment and attraction – Systemic issues are the main causes for the high turnover of staff in the industry. For example, increased mobility of people (i.e. transient workforce), change in services offered to meet local demand, seasonal changes impact on some sectors
  • Training and skilling issues such as travel and distance issues for regional areas, need to look at cross industry links and portability of skills, limited RTO options as the compliance requirements, high risks, insurance costs etc. are too high, need to improve links between training and employment outcomes

QFSR Skills Alliance has developed a number of project ideas to address some of the workforce issues faced by clubs and other organisations.  For example:

  • Multicultural Women’s Sport and Recreation project
  • Indigenous Women’s Leadership Sport and Recreation project
  • Outdoor recreation for young people at risk
  • e-Learning as an on line learning option for club governance and operations
  • Security training for sport clubs
  • Small business management training for micro and small businesses

All these projects have the potential to create or maintain employment for our industry.

QFSR Skills Alliance has the capacity to deliver employment type programs and work readiness programs to assist young people and other disadvantaged groups in the fitness, sport and recreation industry.

QFSR Skills Alliance has played a key role in a working group to facilitate the objectives of the whole of Queensland Government State-wide Outdoor Recreation Framework – A Collaborative and Coordinated Approach to Outdoor Recreation in Queensland.  The primary objective of this framework is to enhance the capacity and sustainability of the outdoor recreation sector.

The training strategies identified by QFSR Skills Alliance align with the core principles and objectives of this framework.   The work and partnerships already invested in this process should not be lost.

Therefore QFSR Skills Alliance seeks to work with the Government to:

  • Ensure flexible and responsive funding regimes to meet the specific training needs of the industry – e.g. skills sets.
  • Develop responsive employment programs that not only provide relevant skills and training but also work preparation to disadvantaged learner groups through the provision of industry specific training e.g. outdoor recreation training, security training.
  • Re-instate industry led and managed brokerage programs that could respond more quickly to ongoing, emergent skill and training needs.
  • Provide assistance to the paid and non-paid workforce to improve their industry governance, board capacity, financial viability and efficient administration.  For example, through QFSR Skills Alliance Club Central training and resources.
  • Maintain and progress the Queensland Government State-wide Outdoor Recreation Framework – A Collaborative and Coordinated Approach to Outdoor Recreation in Queensland. 
  1. An effective industry led engagement mechanism for Government to engage with industry and employers to identify the skills and training needs of Queensland employers.

QFSR Skills Alliance has a long and respected role as the peak body that provides advice to all levels of government on the workforce development, skills and training needs and issues of the fitness, sport and recreation industry throughout Queensland.  QFSR Skills Alliance has a history of working closely with industry on skills, training and workforce development issues and providing resources and advice to industry to support their operational needs.

The processes and methodology we use to gather this information is well established and well known and regarded by industry.  QFSR Skills Alliance has been able to serve the fitness, sport and recreation industry well due to its expertise and corporate knowledge developed from many years of industry grassroots involvement.

The role that QFSR Skills Alliance in identifying the skills and training needs of our industry enables micro, small and medium size businesses and the not for profit sector that do not have reserves or capacity to engage directly with government to have their say and influence the decision making process.  In our role, we have also advocated for the volunteer workforce who is the life blood of many of our organisations and who make a significant contribution to the Queensland economy.

The nature of work and level of industry engagement undertaken by QFSR Skills Alliance has resulted in the development of deep, genuine and complex industry rapport. Industry has grown to know the QFSR Skills Alliance brand and trust that their views will be fully and honestly represented at local, state or national agendas.

Our involvement has been collaborative, providing opportunities from the smallest regional sporting club to the peak body representing a whole sector to be heard and have a voice.  We are a known entity and our connections have meant that our industry organisations have been able to hear the issues of other organisations both large and small.

We have also been able to understand what has been happening in other sectors that cross with our own.

QFSR Skills Alliance welcomes the introduction of Jobs Queensland as an independent statutory body to improve job matching across the economy and lift productivity by developing workforce planning by industry sector and economic catchment.

This new industry-led statutory authority will be well served by organisations such as QFSR Skills Alliance that can provide the breadth and depth of advice needed by Jobs Queensland to achieve its policy objectives and make informed investment decisions.

 Therefore QFSR Skills Alliance seeks a commitment to:

  • An industry driven and led system to identify the skills and training needs of Queensland employers with advice provided by industry peak workforce development bodies.  
  1. Continued recognition and support of QFSR Skills Alliance as the peak body for workforce development that provides advice and support to the Queensland Government on skills and training needs and workforce development issues of the fitness, sport and recreation industry.

QFSR Skills Alliance has more than 20 years’ experience as the peak body for workforce development for the fitness, sport and recreation industry in Queensland.  We have assisted Government achieve many program objectives as well as independently delivered many programs and services to support the industry’s workforce – both paid and unpaid.  Most recently these include:

  • Provision of Club Central resources and other training materials to assist in club governance and other day to day operations
  •  Launch of e-Learning – an online learning option for sport and recreation clubs to undertake training in governance and other club operation topics
  • Training delivery to clubs and state sporting organisations
  • Advocacy to government and other policy bodies on the skills and training needs of the fitness, sport and recreation workforce
  • Development of a number of significant industry reports
  • Delivery of three Seniors on Saddles programs – a learn to ride a bike program for seniors
  • Brokerage of training under the Strategic Investment Fund and Productivity Places Program
  • Facilitation of the Sport and Recreation Volunteer Portal
  • Provision of an annual industry conference
  • Funding and grant opportunities sought that fit with the QFSR Skills Alliance strategic direction

As the peak body QFSR Skills Alliance is committed to providing technical expertise and industry advice at the highest level.  The value of these efforts cannot be quantified in dollars and represents a significant component of our resources.  Industry values this expertise and appreciates our role in addressing its skills and training needs and ensuring that they are heard.

Therefore QFSR Skills Alliance seeks a commitment to:

  • Continue to be recognised as the peak body for workforce development for the fitness, sport and recreation industry in Queensland, and to be the first point of call for inclusion in any Government committees, working groups, strategic forums etc. that aim to enhance the capacity and sustainability of the industry’s workforce.
Constitution and Membership

Constitution and Membership

Information about the QFSR Skills Alliance constitution is available here.

To become a QFSR Skills Alliance member, please complete one of the Membership Application Forms below or contact the office on 07 3367 0833.

Ordinary Member

Associate Member

Affliliate Member