In March 2022, EmployAbility Leisure was launched, which is an initiative to create more accessible and inclusive training and workplaces for disabled people in the leisure sector.

Three were released to support the industry to attract more disabled people to the sector workforce. Although 1 in 5 of the working-age population in the UK are classed as disabled, only 52% are employed compared to 81% of non-disabled people, and there are indications that the employment gap is far greater within the leisure sector workforce. It is recognized by many industry stakeholders that the fitness and leisure sector is often portrayed in narrow terms that lacks diversity and inclusivity.

The evidence-based guidance is based on research with disabled people and those involved in leisure sector training, recruitment, and employment. The research was conducted by Professor Brett Smith from Durham University and Dr. Julliette Stebbings from the University of Portsmouth.

  • Guide A for disabled people, ‘Training and working in the fitness and leisure sector’ is a guide to inform and inspire disabled people to start a career in the sector.
  • Guide B for training providers and awarding bodies, ‘Training disabled learners in the fitness and leisure sector’ supports those delivering training to provide inclusive and accessible courses.
  • Guide C for employers, ‘Employing disabled people in the fitness and leisure sector’ provides guidance about inclusion and how  to become a disability confident employer and recruit and develop more disabled staff.

Download the guides below: 


Disability and Employment in the Leisure Industry

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