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Building a stronger workforce

Our vision is that everyone working in sport and activity feels confident, valued and supported

12th September 2018

We’ve developed a plan to give the more than 400,000 people who work in the sport and physical activity sector in England – and the people they help get active – the best possible support.

Working in an Active Nation has two main objectives.


Support the workforce to become more customer focused

Our aspiration is to ensure that people who do sport and physical activity have the best possible experience.

To achieve this, those who work in the sector need to be recruited, developed and supported in the right way.

We’re proposing a shift in emphasis, with workforce development placing a deep understanding of the people who do sport and activity at its heart.


Develop the workforce so that it’s recognised as professional

By developing things such as a clear set of professional standards, career development pathways and new qualification and training approaches, the strength of the sport and physical activity sector will be more widely recognised.

It will also help people feel united and proud to be part of the sector, fostering increased collaboration and, ultimately, lead to more people getting active.


We’ve developed a series of strategic approaches and key actions that will help achieve these objectives.

This includes increasing the diversity and inclusion of the workforce and using insight to give a deeper understanding of the impact the workforce has on the people it’s trying to engage.

Professional workforce

Those people who are employed, or self-employed, in either a part-time or full-time capacity in sport and/or physical activity.

“The Government’s strategy for sport, Sporting Future, has set out a challenge to those that work in sport and physical activity to be able to better meet the needs of a broader range of participants. Working in an Active Nation has been created following widespread consultation with all parts of the industry, and it represents our sector’s response to this challenge,” said Stuart Armstrong, our head of coaching.

“We aim to work across our sector to tackle challenges in leadership and culture, improve the diversity of our workforce and establish enhanced employment opportunities to recruit new talent and retain the best employees.

“Sport England is looking forward to engaging with existing partners within sport and physical activity and new organisations from across the landscape to realise these ambitions collaboratively.”

We’ll be tracking our progress on all of the areas within Working in an Active Nation over the next five years, as we work to help the workforce thrive and the people it supports be better served.

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