Groundbreaking partnership launches new leisure industry careers in Oxfordshire


A dynamic new collaboration between the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA), Activate Learning, and Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) is set to revolutionise leisure industry careers in Oxfordshire.  

Launching in September 2024 at City of Oxford College and University Centre and Banbury and Bicester College, this innovative partnership creates a brand-new professional pathway, equipping students with industry-relevant qualifications and hands-on experience that will open doors to exciting job opportunities across the leisure sector. 

This programme recognises the growing demand for skilled professionals in the leisure industry, encompassing everything from sports facilities and gyms to swimming pools and community centres. The tailor-made curriculum combines academia with immersive practical learning, ensuring graduates are fully prepared to hit the ground running in their chosen careers. 

CIMSPA is the professional development body for the UK’s sport and physical activity sector, committed to supporting, developing and enabling professionals and organisations to succeed. As part of this, they provide an employer-led and quality-assured education and training system for the sector. 

Natasha Eason, Associate Director of Education at CIMSPA, said: “We are proud to announce Activate Learning as the first official CIMSPA Further Education partner.  

“This partnership will provide students with comprehensive and enhanced learning opportunities, equipping professionals of the future with all the tools necessary to thrive in the industry and deliver a high standard of practice in their fields.” 

Andrew Slater, Group Director for Lifestyles Faculty and Banbury and Bicester College and City of Oxford College and University Centre – Technology Campus, said: “Activate Learning is passionate about creating opportunities for career success. This partnership aligns perfectly with our mission, providing students with the qualifications and real-world experience they need to flourish in the exciting world of leisure.” 

GLL, a leading social enterprise managing leisure facilities across the UK, brings invaluable expertise to the table. 

Gary Starkey, GLL Head of Service for Oxfordshire, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with CIMSPA and Activate Learning on this innovative programme that will provide a direct pathway for students to join our organisation.  

“As a charitable social enterprise, we are committed to supporting the local communities in which we operate and that includes through job creation and career development. We have recently achieved IIP gold accreditation and are recognised for supporting our people to be their best and reach their potential.” 

With its blend of high-quality education and practical experience, this programme boasts several key advantages: 

  • Industry-recognised qualifications: Students earn CIMSPA endorsed qualifications, ensuring they meet the sector set professional standards. 
  • Work experience placements: Gain valuable skills and network within the industry through placements at GLL facilities across Oxfordshire. 
  • Specialist instructors: Learn from experienced professionals and industry leaders at City of Oxford College and University Centre and Banbury and Bicester College. 
  • Job-ready graduates: Graduate with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to secure rewarding careers in the thriving leisure sector. 

This landmark partnership is a game-changer for Oxfordshire’s leisure industry, ensuring a steady stream of qualified and passionate professionals, ready to deliver exceptional experiences and promote active, healthy lifestyles across the community. 

To learn more about the partnership, visit the Activate Learning website or contact via telephone at 0800 612 6008.