Corby pool’s success prompts new apprentice scheme

Corby’s Olympic-size pool is so successful it is launching an apprenticeship scheme to meet the demand for swimming and diving lessons.

Managers at the council-run pool are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit experienced, qualified swimming and diving instructors.

The pool already provides 800 swimming lessons a week and there are now 300 children, who want to learn to swim, on the waiting list.

At a meeting of the council’s One Corby Policy Committee on Tuesday (September 11), councillors agreed to take on two aquatic apprentices to work 30 hours a week for a year.

At the end of their training they will be able to apply for positions at the pool.

The apprenticeship scheme is a government funded training programme supported by the Institute of Swimming.

Each apprentice will receive training costing £4,000 which will be funded by the government. The council will meet the wages bill which will cost £8,400.

Councillors welcomed the scheme but expressed concern at the low level of pay and the matter is to be looked at again.

Cllr Sean Kettle said: “This is a miserly amount and I am asking officers to look again at the rate of pay for the apprentices.”

Cllr Rob McKellar said: “The swimming pool is the jewel in Corby’s crown. It has been massively successful and is a great attribute to the borough.

“I welcome the apprenticeship scheme but we should put more thought into the rate of pay.”

Cllr John McGhee added: “It is excellent that we are providing opportunities for young people in Corby and the chance for them to gain new skills.”

The council estimates that new classes at Corby pool, which could be provided once apprentices are qualified, would generate additional annual income of £9,500.