Energie Fitness Clubs are growing fast and 2018 will see up to 40 new clubs opening. Energie favours the apprenticeship framework to staff its sites and Lifetime Learning Ltd is its preferred provider of apprenticeship recruitment and training. However, Energie is fully aware that the apprenticeship pathway is not a quick route for either the employer or employee: while individuals are progressing and developing, there remains a very important commercial task to fulfil Level 2 and Level 3 staff roles in particular.
“It can be tricky to get staffing levels right when you’re growing as a business and while we prefer the training model of apprenticeships, we also require a fast track training route for personal trainers in particular,” says Fintan Donohue, Director of Strategy at Energie Fitness. “We are enjoying a period of rapid growth and all our new sites must open with fully trained, highly competent staff from day one. Future Fit is proving to be invaluable in bringing us skilled staff more swiftly than the apprenticeship route will allow.
“The commercial strength, training quality and business acumen offered by Future Fit Is impressive,” continues Fintan. “I can rely on them to provide us with industry-ready trainers who have experienced a high level of practical training and case study work and been exposed to soft skills training including management and business awareness. As a result, we can recruit a gym instructor or PT trained by Future Fit with absolute confidence.”
The more immersive training model that Future Fit provides meets Energie’s training requirements with significantly more content in its qualification compared to what is offered by many other providers.
Energie also enrols some of its existing workforce onto Future Fit courses to boost their skills and enable them to train and support less experienced staff. “Future Fit is working across the board with us and has developed bespoke training sessions for a number of our staff to build their confidence in planning and operations, setting objectives and improving their level of integration with colleagues and clients,” explains Fintan.
The ‘two pronged’ approach of training apprentices and appointing commercially trained staff can be highly successful. “The old standards framework for personal training qualifications did not provide us with the quality we required,” says Fintan. “The new standards, which are expected to be approved early in 2018 will make a real difference. We certainly know from experience that well-trained, motivated staff who see investment in their future will stay with the company and improve profitability at club level.”
“We really enjoy working with Fintan and his team as they put a great value on quality training and development of their staff,” says Rob Johnson, Future Fit Training managing director. “While we don’t offer apprenticeships, we fully recognise the model in terms of training and progression but, as Fintan points out, if you have a young, rapidly growing business, staffing entirely on apprentices is not viable. Our agreement with Energie enables us to populate its sites with highly skilled PTs and support its existing workforce with CPD and top-up training. In this way, its apprentices are able to train and develop at their own pace with the added strength of an efficient and effective PT workforce behind them.”