Emerging Forms of Employment in the Sport sector in Europe

The FORMS project has been funded under the Erasmus+ Sport Programme of the European Union (Call 2020) and has a duration of 2 years, running up to December 2022.


New forms and patterns of employment are being created in response to the growing and changing sport labour market and to address new characteristics and realities of the sector.

By “new forms of employment”, the project means the “relationship between employers and employees that is different that the established 1:1 employment relationship” (Eurofound 2015).

The traditional full-time and open-ended contract with one single employer is becoming less and less relevant in sport and many forms of diverse employment relationships are being adopted, including part-time, temporary agency, ‘employee sharing’, casual contracts, portfolio careers and self-employment. This trend may well be accelerated by COVID-19, and FORMS provides the opportunity to examine its impact in more detail.

The steady growth of the sport workforce up to 2019 already presented challenges in terms of skills and flexible working arrangements.  The sudden impact of COVID-19 on the sport sector will present new hurdles to overcome.


The 24-month FORMS project will provide a timely opportunity for the sector to analyse the emerging picture, meet its challenges and have a positive impact, in particular by continuing to promote a flexible and inclusive labour market, clear career pathways with concrete job opportunities, and to seek to ensure that those working and volunteering in sport are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to perform in their positions through fit for purpose education.

The innovative FORMS project will research, analyse, and present these new forms and patterns of employment and will offer adapted solutions for a better functioning sport labour market across the European Union which could boost job creation and employment opportunities and increase labour market participation.

Expected Outputs

OUTPUT 1: A desk research on the emerging forms of employment in the sport sector in Europe

All national partners will implement a wide desk research on the existing types of employment in the EU sport and physical activity sector and in other sectors that are using a range of new and different employment relationships.

OUTPUT 2: A Summary Paper presenting and describing the emerging forms of employment in the European sport sector

The partnership will analyse the findings and describe:

  • existing and emerging forms of employment

  • their main characteristics and specificities

  • the profile of organisations using each of them

  • the profile of the staff being engaged

  • the link with the working conditions

  • the potential use of each of these forms within the sector

  • skills expectations for each identified form of employment.

OUTPUT 3: National Consultation Round Tables on the emerging forms of employment in sport

A total of five national roundtables will be organised (1 in each country represented in the partnership – Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and Portugal) with a sample of national and local organisations, including SMEs, selected by the national partner.

OUTPUT 4: A Compendium of good practices and recommendations on the emerging forms of employment in sport

The final phase of the FORMS project will gather into one single document – The Compendium of Good Practices and Recommendations on Emerging Forms of Employment –  all information and findings collated from the previous phases as well as a series of recommendations on the emerging forms of employment in the sport sector.


Coordianated by the European Observatoire of Sport and Employment (EOSE), the partnership comprises a European network, a sport club, two universities, and three employer representatives.

The partner organisations were selected to gather a good mix of stakeholders with the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding of the realities and challenges of the labour market to make the project a success.

FORMS Library

FORMS final output report

Multilingual Leaflets

Latest News

FORMS Final publication is on his way!

FORMS Final publication is on his way!

The partners in the EU funded FORMS project “Researching emerging forms of employment in the European sport sector” were delighted to meet in person for a final Full Partner Meeting in Lisbon as guests of Polytechnic Institute of Santarem/Sport Sciences School of Rio...

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