Karen Hanly, owner of Warehouse Fitness Ladies Only Gym tells us how with the help of training provider Focus Training her in-house training proved cost-effective and helped her deliver training opportunities to a whole new audience.
Up-skilling your staff can be expensive but add on travel costs and, in some cases, overnight accommodation, and the bill goes up considerably. In Karen’s case, as her gym in based in the Isle of Man, travelling expenses can easily double the overall cost.
Karen wanted to recruit a Level 2 qualified instructor to teach at the Douglas based gym and whilst there were plenty of applications, she was disappointed to find that none had the necessary qualification.
Her initial solution was that she would do it herself, become a qualified instructor so she could further increase the variety of classes available to her members. Karen’s starting point was to talk to Focus Training, one of the UK’s leading providers of fitness training however, when she factored in the cost of getting to the mainland to attend the necessary courses, Karen decided she needed to think outside the box.
Karen and Focus worked together and agreed to bring the training to the Isle of Man by using the facilities at the Warehouse Gym. Karen was also able to access support funding through an IOM grant. The idea proved very popular and a total of 13 students attended the first, highly successful Level 2 Gym Instructor and Spin Instructor courses.
Karen comments, “By bringing Focus Training to our facility to run their courses, not only did it reduce the cost for me personally, it also opened up the training possibility to others. Our island is committed to reducing obesity levels, especially in our young people, and we need more qualified fitness professionals to help us achieve our objectives. We are already planning further training programmes with Focus.”
Mike Watts, the Focus Training tutor who delivered the courses said: “We have the resources to deliver in-house, bespoke courses anywhere in the UK. At any venue where there are 5 or more students requiring training, it is usually far more cost effective for us to go to the client facilities.”
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OCL is on a mission to get their local community “more active, more often”. They are a community benefit society with a portfolio of 14 venues, a mix of sports centres, swimming pools and synthetic pitches.
Focus tutors have been delivering NVQs, apprenticeships and CPD training for new and existing staff for over 8 years. With an average of 20 students each year, the partnership between OCL and Focus requires dedicated resources and a flexible approach to meet OCLs unique requirements.
Focus Training’s Operations Director, Ben Jackson explains:
“We work closely with the HR department at OCL to provide exactly what they want and their staff need. From Gym Instructor and ETM to NVQs where, in addition to our standard qualifications, we have to ensure work-based competence, which we do by conducting regular staff observations. We also deliver CPD courses, kettlebell, spin and functional skills such as English and Maths.”
Louise McGreal, Head of Human Resources for Oldham Community Leisure added:
“A high proportion of our current training requirement is for apprentices. The team at Focus understand our business and they work flexibly alongside us to help our staff succeed, so for example, we have had cases where the learner needs more time to complete a workshop as part of their qualification and Focus have willingly accommodated this.”
Wirral Council’s Invigor8 team received excellent service from all at Focus Training. After managing to secure funding to invest in our fitness instructors we approached Focus because of their professionalism and their reputation. We were extremely pleased with the service and flexibility we received.
There was excellent support from the core team and great tutors who made all the courses very enjoyable. The whole team at Focus are very knowledgeable and make learning totally accessible to the various learners. If we manage to secure funding in the future we will be getting back in touch with Focus team.
Invigor8 Brand Manager