From education to employment

CIOB and LDA Respond to Olympian Training Task with Gusto

London may have defeated the rival bids for the Olympic Games in 2012, but the mammoth task of hosting the greatest sporting event on Earth has only just begun.

In order to prepare both London and the Londoners for the impact that this will have, and to assess the changes that will need to take place to meet the challenge of hosting the most successful games (as such is the ambition), much thought and time will need to be dedicated. Regular visitors to FE News will be well aware that the London Development Agency (LDA) together with the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) have commissioned a research project to determine what skills workers will need to a deliver a successful London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympics Games.

It will aim to analyse the skills and training requirements needed to build the Olympic Park and Legacy development in East London, and to stage the Games in 2012. Two of the executives of organisations intimately involved have responded to the announcement by clarifying some of the needs that must be met by the research and some of the changes that will have to take place.

CIOB on Foundations of Success

Michael Brown, the Deputy Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB, gave their stark estimate of the required skills levels for a successful Games, saying: “We estimate that the 2012 Games will need some 7,000 construction workers to translate the vision of the Olympics into reality. In comparison the Sydney Games required some 10,000 workers and the current Beijing build has approximately a 20,000 strong workforce.”

He went on to describe the challenge ahead as he sees it, saying: “London must demonstrate higher productivity levels than both Sydney and Beijing through increased off-site production and the development of new skills. This kind of skills audit is exactly what we need to deliver the project on time and on budget. The CIOB urges all construction bodies in the UK to get involved.”

Responsibility and Challenge

Mr Brown also warned that failure was not an option. He stated: “We not only have a responsibility to produce a fantastic Games but also to encourage new recruits into the industry. If we can”t harness the imagination and excitement that the world largest sporting event creates then we are not doing our jobs properly.”

Marc Stephens, the executive director of Olympic Opportunities and International Promotion at the LDA, said: “The Games will create thousands of new jobs and training opportunities for Londoners. Its also a chance for people to develop their skills and learn new one and this study will give us the clearest picture of the challenges and opportunities the Games will bring and we are determined Londoners and businesses will realise the benefits.”

The question once again arises concerning the creation of skills for the future. As much as a successful Games would be a fantastic event, and a great advert for Britain and for London, the argument that it will create thousands of jobs should be tempered by the awareness that 2013 will follow 2012. Whether or not the thousands of jobs remain, or whether they dry up after the trumpets and fireworks have been packed away again, remains to be seen.

Jethro Marsh

How far ahead is this skills agenda looking? Tell us in the FE Blog

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