The dynamic Queensland fitness, sport and recreation industry is characterised by a vast range of activities and services, which are commonly broken down into the four sectors of:

Fitness                                          Sport

Outdoor Recreation                   Community Recreation




As at November 2015 Arts and Recreation Services in Queensland employed 38,800 persons which is 17 per cent of the national Arts and Recreation Services employment of 227,700 persons.

As at November 2015, Sport and Recreation Activities in Queensland employed approximately 20,100 persons (51.8 per cent of the total Queensland Arts and Recreation Services workforce).

Please note, QFSR Skills Alliance believes this figure is underestimated due to the national ANZSIC classification of sport and recreation activities in other industry sectors such as Education and Training, Healthcare and Social Assistance, Accommodation and Food Services, Public Administration and Safety, and Tourism. In addition to the 20,100 persons counted under the sport and recreation activity category under ANZSIC, it is estimated an additional 20,000-25,000 people are employed in sport and recreation occupations in other industry categories in Queensland.

Therefore the total estimate of sport and recreation employees in Queensland is close to 45,000 persons.

In addition in Queensland, there are approximately 440,000 volunteers in sport and physical recreation organisations that should be accounted for in workforce statistics (this figure does not include volunteers from the outdoor and community recreation sectors) even though volunteers are not paid employees in the industry.

Key occupations in Queensland

Employment figures for the key occupations in the fitness, sport and recreation industry are based on the ANZSCO ABS occupation classifications. It should be noted that QFSR Skills Alliance considers the statistical figures below very conservative as the ambiguity of national reporting descriptors and classifications and how employers/employees might report /associate their occupation, impacts on these statistics. The statistic below are taken from the ABS Labour Force Survey – Employment by Occupation Time Series for Queensland for February Quarter 2016.

Fitness Instructor (ANZSCO 4521)

Occupations in the fitness sector include Fitness Instructor and Fitness Centre Manager. Under the ANZSCO ABS classifications, as at February 2016 Fitness Instructor employment in Queensland increased by 37.1 percent in the last year to 7,500 persons. Queensland has a 23.6 percent share of the national employment of Fitness Instructors (31,600 persons national).

Outdoor Adventure Guide (ANZSCO 4522)

As at February 2016, there were 800 Outdoor Adventure Guides employed in Queensland. This represents 24.4% of the Australian employment level of 3,300 Outdoor Adventure Guides.

It is almost certain that this number is a conservative estimate of actual employment reported in this sector, as it is unclear if the Outdoor Adventure Guide occupation includes more specific activity based titles such as Recreation Officer, Diving Instructor (Open Water), Outdoor Adventure Instructor, Horse Riding Coach or Instructor, Fishing Guide, Whitewater Rafting Guide, Trekking Guide, and Mountain Guide to name a few.

Sport Coaches, Instructors and Officials (ANZSCO 4523)

As at February 2016, Sports Coaches, Instructors and Officials employment in Queensland was 10,100 persons, an increase of 3.2% from the previous year. Queensland has a 21.4 percent share of the national employment of Sports Coaches, Instructors and Officials (47,200 persons for Queensland). This figure does not include the volunteers who perform these roles.


Industry research

Industry research

One of the QFSR Skills Alliance key roles is to undertake research to understand the most current workforce development issues and needs of the fitness, sport and recreation industry in Queensland.

HOW? We undertake research including:

  • Desktop research and analysis of data, reports, industry articles, government policy
  • Surveys
  • Workshops and face to face meetings
  • Participating in existing industry and regional alliances, networks and partnerships 

WHAT? We focus on issues to do with:

  • Current and future skill needs across the industry around the State, including existing or likely skill shortages or gaps
  • Major issues or factors that will be the ‘drivers’ behind industry’s demand for skills into the future
  • Developments and issues at the regional level likely to impact upon regional skilling needs
  • Barriers impeding education and training delivery
  • Appropriate strategies and responses to address the shortages
  • Ways QFSR Skills Alliance can assist organisations to address their workforce development needs

WHY? The information is used to:

  • Help shape Government’s policy and training frameworks, and respond to the needs of our industry in terms of vocational education and training (VET) funding allocations
  • Target brokerage arrangements to areas of identified training need
  • Develop specific workforce development projects and initiatives to assist industry to work with cultural and indigenous groups in the community
  • Identify opportunities for funding and partner with organisations to implement these projects and initiatives
  • Assist industry with recruitment and retention strategies
  • Assist peaks and organisations with current, up to date research and data to support their own projects, initiatives and grant applications
  • Provide information to registered training providers, schools and students

To do this effectively, we need to be able to collect relevant information from industry employers, organisations and their representative groups and associations. If you have information about the skilling and workforce development needs of your workers and volunteers to discuss your issues and ideas, please contact us on 07 3367 0833.

What is VET?

What is VET?

Vocational and Education Training (VET) is education and training that focuses on providing skills for work.  VET courses are offered in schools, colleges, community centres, TAFE institutes and private registered training organisations.

VET qualifications include Certificates I, II, III and IV, Diplomas, Advanced Diplomas and selected Degrees and are nationally recognised when completed with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

VET qualifications will help you to enter the workforce, but you can also continue building on your qualifications throughout your career. Completing one VET qualification will often give you credit for a more advanced qualification, either in the VET sector or even at university.

Important links:

The Australian Government Department of Education and Training is responsible for national policies and programs that help Australians access quality and affordable early child care and childhood education, school education, higher education, vocational education and training, international education and research. provides information about the Queensland VET system including the Annual Investment Plan.

Queensland Skills Gateway helps Queenslanders to make informed choices about training. The website provides information on vocational education and training available across Queensland including courses, training providers, government funding and career pathways. The site features a simple questionnaire to help individuals find out if they are eligible for government subsidised training.

myApprenticeship self-service website – allow apprentices and trainees to conveniently and securely view information and complete a range of tasks related to their apprenticeship or traineeship. This includes updating contact information, accessing training contract details and viewing their training results is the official National Register on VET in Australia and is the authoritative source of information on training packages, qualifications, accredited courses, units of competency, skill sets and Registered Training Organisations.

ASQA – the Australian Skills Quality Authority is the national regulator for Australia’s vocational education and training sector. ASQA regulates courses and training providers to ensure nationally approved quality standards are met.

Skills IQ is the national industry skills councils for the fitness, sport and recreation industry funded by the Australian Government to support skills development.

News and Articles

News and Articles

Childhood Obesity – Dr Ralph Richards, Australian Sports Commission – 27 October 2015

Physical Activity Guidelines – Dr Ralph Richards, Australian Sports Commission – 20 October 2015

ABS notes declining sport and physical recreation participation – Australasian Leisure Management – 19 February 2015

New research supports ‘green prescription’ link between parks and major health benefits – Australian Policy Online – 14 November 2014

Feeling stressed and unhealthy? There’s growing evidence that taking a walk in a park might be better than popping a pill.

Healthy lifestyle guidelines—are they good enough? – The Lancet – October 2014

Obesity, caused by dietary factors and physical inactivity, is probably the greatest scourge that future generations will face. Physical activity guidelines now exist alongside dietary recommendations, but as the prevalence of overweightness and obesity continues to increase, the existence of these guidelines will be far from sufficient to stem the rising tide of metabolic disease worldwide.

Regional Queenslanders face obesity and health crisis – Australasian Leisure Management – 6 August 2014

Queensland has been labelled the fattest state in Australia, with rural obesity levels now at an alarming level.

Queensland Training Awards regional finalists named – 4 July 2014

Congratulations to the Queensland Training Awards regional finalists for 2014.  Regional winners will be announced at events throughout Queensland from 18 July to 2 August and invited to compete at the state final in Brisbane on 19 September 2014.

Industry-led VET reform to drive productivity gains – Minister for Industry – 25 June 2014

Australian industry will take a lead role in advising on reforms for vocational education and training (VET) to ensure the sector drives productivity and competitiveness improvements across the economy.

Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said the Australian Government had put skills and training at the centre of its economic agenda, and would focus on real improvements to turn out highly skilled workers that businesses need to compete in the global market.

‘Sugar tax’ needed to curb childhood obesity – Press Association, The Guardian – 22 June 2014

A campaign group has called on the government to introduce a “sugar tax” to discourage consumption of sweetened soft drinks.

Review of the epidemiological evidence for physical activity and health from low- and middle-income countries – Global Public Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice, Volume 9, Issue 4, 2014

Almost 80% of deaths from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) occur in low- and middle-income countries. Physical inactivity is a key risk factor for NCDs.

ABS to scale back collection of culture, recreation, sport and tourism statistics – Australasian Leisure Management – 8 June 2014

Implementing cuts of around $50 million over three years, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will end its surveys on Australian social trends and Measures of Australia’s Progress, as well as ending its contribution to collecting culture, sport and recreation statistics.

Inactivity in women over 30 a greater health risk than smoking – Australasian Leisure Management – 4 June 2014

New research from the Centre for Research on Exercise, Physical Activity and Health at the University of Queensland shows that physical inactivity has become the greatest health risk factor for women over 30 – posing more of a threat than smoking, obesity and high blood pressure.

Literacy and numeracy skills and labour market outcomes in Australia – Anthony Shomos, Matthew Forbes, Productivity Commission Commonwealth of Australia 29 May 2014 (Australian Policy Online)

The paper analyses the profile of adult literacy and numeracy skills in Australia, and how important those skills are for labour market outcomes.

Australian Jobs 2014 – Publication – Australian Government, Department of Employment – 23 May 2014.

This publication includes information about the labour market for industries and occupations as well as states, territories and regions of Australia. It also provides forward-looking occupational and industry information that will help readers understand where the jobs will be in the future.

Is sport enough? 2014 report card on physical activity for children and young people – Active Healthy Kids Australia – 20 May 2014

Based on a Canadian initiative, this annual report provides information on the physical activity and sedentary behaviours of Australia’s children and young people.

Inactivity ‘dominant influence’ on women’s heart risk – Helen Briggs, BBC News – 9 May 2014

Lack of exercise is the biggest risk factor for heart disease in women aged 30 and above, according to a study.


Studies have shown that certain groups in the Australian population are least likely to participate in sport and physical recreation, and thus are at greater risk of bearing the individual, social and economic costs of physical inactivity.

The factors affecting the educational and occupational aspirations of young Australians – National Centre for Vocational Education Research, Sinan Gemici, Alice Bednarz, Tom Karmel, Patrick Lim | Longitudinal Surverys of Australian Youth – 2 April 2014

Examining the extent to which the occupational aspirations of teenagers align with their actual job outcomes a decade later, the findings in this report demonstrate just how important parents and peers are in relation to young people’s aspirations.


Industry consultation

Industry consultation

There are no industry consultation currently open.