Some research suggests that being involved in sport can equip young people with specific ‘core’ and ‘soft’ skills that may raise their level of employability.

‘Core’ skills include those that are directly associated with coaching and sport management. ‘Soft’ skills include the skills and values that are learned through sport, such as: cooperation, leadership, respect for others, knowing how to win and lose, knowing how to manage competition, etc.

However, it is advised to exercise caution when taking this view of sport’s contribution to economic development through job skills development because employment opportunities must exist for these skills to be relevant and of practical use. Research shows that there is a need to identify new jobs associated with sport and to conduct an inventory of all job categories in developing countries that can use sports skills or those derived from sport.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has highlighted the position of sports institutions as lying outside the tripartite structure of actors with whom the ILO usually works (governments, employers and workers) and therefore calls for the creation and development of joint projects and partnerships.

For skills-building in sport for employment, the ILO has suggested that classifications of sport and sport-related economic activities opportunities be carried out in African countries, considering that so few of them have been documented in this region. This would allow for a better understanding of the present situation of the sport sector and to uncover any potential employment opportunities and skills that young people may find useful in the sport sector in Africa.

Image by Rodolfo Quirós