It's not Baywatch headquarters at the Dickson pool, but there is a long, dry summer ahead and there's a pressing need for fresh recruits to keep swimmers safe.
El Nino is here and heatwaves are forecast to sweep across the country over the summer - that means more Canberrans will visit the pools to cool down during the warmer months.
Outdoor pools had a rocky start to the swimming season with many struggling to open. Phillip pool failed to open on time after a two-year closure because of a lifeguard shortage.
The aquatic industry was badly affected by the pandemic and pools around the country struggled to recruit qualified swimming teachers and lifeguards to keep people safe in the water.
Belgravia Health and Leisure Group Leisure spokesperson Kristy Brown said there was a shortage of lifeguards across Australia, and Canberra was no exception. With warm spring weather bringing an early wave of eager swimmers to the pools, Belgravia Leisure is anticipating a busy summer and is on the hunt for lifeguards to join their team.
Belgravia was appointed new operators of the five ACT-government-owned pools Canberra Olympic Pool, Gungahlin Leisure Centre, Stromlo Leisure Centre, Lakeside Leisure Centre and Dickson Aquatic Centre.
Lifeguarding has been a rite of passage for youngsters across generations seeking casual work over the summer break. Before donning the bright yellow and diving in to the workforce, candidates need to complete a training course.
While potential lifeguards must bring a reasonable level of fitness and swimming ability, Belgravia has offered to provide the essential lifeguard course free of cost.
Training for an entry-level qualification can be completed in as little as three days and the course covers a range of water safety topics, including safe water practices. Lifeguard roles are being advertised on the Belgravia website.
"We provide everything you need from induction to nationally recognised qualifications such as first aid, CPR and pool lifeguard certification," Ms Brown said.
While lifeguarding is viewed as a perfect casual entry-level job, Ms Brown said there are opportunities to progress into management roles and develop highly sought-after professional skills along the way.
"Lifeguarding provides flexibility in shift hours and days across early mornings, evenings and weekends making it perfect for uni students, parents returning to work or those looking for opportunities to connect with and support their community in a health-promoting environment," she said.
17-year-old Kilkie Leten patrols the Dickson pool on the weekend and the warm spring weather has meant she can take on plenty of shifts.
It's her second season as a lifeguard and Kilkie said working outdoors in the summer beside a pool is the best part of the job.
"I love working as a lifeguard because it's such a fun environment to work in, it's great to be outside during the warm summer days," Kilkie said.
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