GLL, London’s largest swimming pool operator is hoping that a new recruitment campaign will help tackle the city’s lifeguard shortage and expects the new Baywatch movie (released 29th May 2017) to pique interest in the role.
The campaign will launch at the London Aquatics Centre on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, East London on Saturday 3rd June 11am – 4pm. A recruitment event will see potential lifeguards invited to come along for interviews and to undertake swim tests including timed 50m swims, a deep dive, and a lifesaving backstroke test.
With up to 20% of its lifeguarding roles unfilled and around 90 current vacancies for the Summer season, GLL also hopes the initiative will counter common misconceptions around lifeguarding and encourage a wider demographic to apply.
Gerry Kendrick, Head of HR Operational Services at GLL says: “You don’t need to be body beautiful or wear a tiny red swimsuit to save lives. Of course a good level of fitness and swimming ability is key, but we currently employ lifeguards of all ages from their late teens to those aged 70 years and older.
Although a municipal swimming pool may not have quite the allure of Miami Beach, the role has many benefits. It can be a stepping stone to a career pathway within the leisure industry, or offer flexible working hours that are ideal for working parents or the semi-retired, who are perhaps looking to supplement a pension.”
Jalbby Johnson, apprentice lifeguard at the London Aquatics Centre comments: “Working as a lifeguard means you really learn about the leisure industry first hand and as you progress up the levels that experience will be invaluable. Working for GLL is great, because if they see you are interested and ambitious they will push you and offer more opportunities.”
The national lifeguard shortage can be attributed to a number of factors as Gerry Kendrick explains: “A decline in school swimming means there are less people with the necessary skills to take on the roles. Secondly, these are jobs that are often not considered long-term career options. Thirdly, with the closure of public swimming pools across the UK over recent decades, aquatics-related jobs are often less visible.”
Martin Symcox from the Royal Life Saving Society UK adds: Becoming a lifeguard is more than a just a job and earning money; you gain life-long skills which are useful both on poolside and outside a working environment. Being a lifeguard provides you with skills which are transferable for any career path you may take. Due to the responsible nature of the role you will improve your confidence, whilst gaining valuable communication skills and improve your ability to work as part of a team. Lifeguarding is accessible to all ages and backgrounds and we support GLL in their drive to recruit a wider demographic of employees in to their workforce.”
For further information and to apply, visit www.glljobs.org.