Goal 5: Recreation Capacity

Ensure the continued growth and sustainability of the recreation field.

5.1 Co-develop strategies that address workforce gaps in the recreation and parks sector. This could include career awareness, preparation, and the development of strategies to attract and educate new recreation and parks leaders.

Operational Ideas:

  • Provide training to youth participating in programs (e.g., lifeguard certification), or working in part-time positions such as camp councillors and grounds staff.
  • Offer volunteer training and mentorship to youth.
  • Work with secondary schools and post-secondary institutions to promote recreation as a career, including offering practicum opportunities.
  • Participate in post-secondary education fairs to provide practical knowledge about the sector.
  • Participate in local job fairs.

Strategic Ideas:

  • Work with municipal decision-makers on the issue of fair compensation for employees delivering recreation and parks services.
  • Work with municipal decision-makers to address the issue of hybrid and four-day work weeks.
  • Develop a campaign to reach retired individuals or those who have been out of the workforce to consider the pursuit of recreation and parks as a part-time job or full-time career.
  • Work within the sector to ensure part-time staff are aware of recreation and parks as a full-time career and provide information about educational and other pathways to achieve a career in the sector.

5.2 Implement policies to achieve diversity in the workforce, including among volunteers and staff, for all roles. Support at P/T and national levels will be useful in shaping these policies.

Operational Ideas:

  • Increase participation of equity-denied groups in recreation and parks programs and services with the intention of increasing exposure to the sector as a career.
  • Recruit and support professionals and volunteers from populations and groups that face constraints to participation.

Strategic Ideas:

  • Develop policy that provides guidance about achieving workforce diversity.
  • At the municipal level, work with settlement and social service agencies to implement recruitment strategies.

5.3 Develop volunteer and student management strategies that include recruitment, management, and recognition components.

Operational Ideas:

  • Recognize the contribution of volunteers and create policies that make it easier to volunteer.
  • Create tools that describe post-secondary opportunities for recreation education and information about recreation and parks as a life-long career.

Strategic Ideas:

  • Work with large and small businesses to increase their awareness of recreation and parks as a sector to support through corporate volunteer programs

5.4 Collaborate with secondary school co-op programs, and post-secondary institutions (colleges and universities) to support the recreation sector. This should include the area of leisure recreation.

Operational Ideas:

  • Identify areas of research and evaluation needed, then work with post-secondary institutions to achieve these projects.

Strategic Ideas:

  • Influence new and utilize existing curriculum support materials.
  • Engage students in placements within the recreation and parks sector.
  • Identify joint opportunities for students between universities, other community organizations (e.g., public health), and recreation and parks departments.
  • Work with post-secondary education and government partners to identify existing or create new funding opportunities (e.g., bursaries, scholarships, and grants) that could be accessed through the Framework Goals lenses.

5.5 Develop, enhance, and implement high-quality and accessible training and competency-based capacity development programs for organizations and individuals
(pre-professionals, professionals, and volunteers) working in recreation.

Operational Ideas:

  • Offer training and education to rural and remote communities that is affordable and can be done on a part-time basis.
  • Provide incentives to volunteers and staff to participate in training programs.

Strategic Ideas:

  • Create/update a professional development certificate program for recreation and parks professionals. Consider linking this to staff compensation and/or recognition strategies.

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