Facts & Figures

State of the Industry

Royal Life Saving Workforce Survey Profile 2019Royal Life Saving, on behalf of the National Aquatic Industry Safety Committee (NAISC), is managing the National Aquatic Industry Workforce Development Project.

The key objectives of the Project are to:

  • Achieve and share a greater insight and understanding of the aquatic industry workforce
  • Build the capacity and capability of the aquatic industry workforce
  • Support the development of a strong, sustainable and responsive aquatic industry

One of the key initial tasks of the Project was to survey the aquatic industry workforce with the goal of gathering comprehensive data on the full range of aspects that make up, influence, and affect the characteristics and working lives of the aquatic industry workforce. This survey was conducted in April to June 2019 and there have been two key publications based on the data gathered from the survey.

The Workforce Profile, published in December 2019, provided a snapshot of specific demographic information for key roles within the industry. The key findings were:

  • 73% of the workforce are female
  • 56% of the workforce earn less than $30,000 per year
  • 46% of the workforce are employed casually and most workers work throughout the year but in a part-time capacity
  • 49% of workers have a second job and 47% are studying while working
  • Those aged between 18 and 64 are relatively evenly represented across the workforce, with 45 to 54 being the most common age group (23%) and 25 to 34 being the least common age group (15%)
  • 74% of workers said the most enjoyable part of their current role was knowing they are making a positive impact on people’s lives

The National Aquatic Workforce Report, published in July 2020, analyses employee insights relating to working life, professional development and future needs of those working in the aquatic industry. This report found that:

  • A positive and collegiate work atmosphere was valued most highly by workers, slightly above improved pay and work conditions
  • Almost three-quarters of workers had experienced a moderate degree of change in their role, with one-third of this group experiencing a large or very large degree of change
  • Two in every three workers believed that the greatest change has been in safety, compliance and legal requirements
  • Most workers believed people leave the industry because of a lack of available work hours, poor remuneration and the seasonal nature of the work
  • The majority of professional development activities across industry consists of face-to-face sessions
  • Most workers valued face-to-face professional development sessions over online
  • Most workers found that improved skills and performance resulted from day-to-day experience in the role and initial on-the-job training
  • Most workers did two or fewer professional development activities a year
  • Not all employee professional development activities were funded by employers

The aim is to use the findings of both publications to form a Workforce Development Plan. The primary focus of this Plan will be to guide and support industry stakeholders to make decisions and take actions to ensure the workforce has the capabilities, opportunities, resources and systems to enable it to best meet client, community and business needs, and respond to ongoing change.