YOUNGSTERS are struggling to stay afloat, according to a new study.

It says a lack of qualified swimming teachers in the South East means many children do not have the chance to learn the skill.

The Swimming Teacher’s Association found that 80 per cent of the people surveyed in the region said they could not find appropriately qualified swimming teaching staff to meet the demand for lessons.

Kaylë Brightwell, the organisation’s head of qualifications development, said: “Recruitment continues to be a widespread problem and causes many operational issues for swim schools.

“These include not being able to cope with demand, being forced to cancel swimming lessons and longer waiting lists, all of which impact on their future growth.”

The association is now looking to encourage more people to train as professional swimming teachers to put an end to this problem.