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Funds to be Made Available for Preparing London and Londoners for 2012

The London Development Agency (LDA) and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) in London are making around £5.8 million available for activities to help prepare Londoners for opportunities brought by the 2012 Olympic and Para Olympic Games.

This programme is being facilitated through the London part of the Greater South East European Social Fund (ESF) Olympics Initiative. The 2-year projects to be funded will train and up-skill learners across the capital in key sectors, including construction and sports coaching, and will provide support to SMEs affected by Olympic developments in London, as set out in the Programme Prospectus.

Providing the Support for Successful Games

Maxine Jones, Director of Skills and Employment at LDA, commented: “The London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics provides major opportunities for London’s diverse communities. The launch of this new programme is part of the LDA’s ongoing commitment to ensure that the legacy benefits are captured in the Capital.”

The LDA is the Mayors agency for business and jobs. The LDA prepares the Mayors business plan for London and mobilises the support and resources of hundreds of partner organisations to help build a thriving economy for Londons people, businesses and communities. The LDA is dedicated to improving sustainability, health and equality of opportunity for Londoners.

This programme forms part of a wider tri-regional initiative and will provide much needed funding to help address skills shortages and gaps which currently affect the Londons economy. Naomi Logan, LSC Regional ESF Manager, says: “This tri-regional initiative is the first of its kind in the country and has enabled three regions to work together to develop a joint ESF programme for London which will start preparing the ground for skills and training for local people to benefit from this wonderful new opportunity.”

ESF and ECOTEC

The ESF is one of four Structural Funds designed to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union. The current programmes run from 2000 to 2006. ESF will provide about £4.5 billion in Great Britain (£3.5 billion in England) in this period. From January 2000 to September 2003, ESF helped 2,557,920 people in England. Of these, 289,488 found work after leaving the programme and 356,852 gained a qualification.

ECOTEC Research & Consulting has been appointed to oversee the management of the Programme including its application phase (deadline: 28 April 2006, 5pm). It runs a Helpline and is now organising an information workshop on the 28th March 2006 to assist potential applicants. Chris Walker, Associate Director at ECOTEC, added: “ECOTEC is delighted to be involved in this important initiative to make sure Londoners maximize the benefit of the Games.”

ECOTEC Research and Consulting Limited is an international company providing services in research, consultancy and programme management with over 200 people working from offices in Birmingham, Brussels, Cardiff, Leeds, London, Madrid, Manchester and Turkey. The company works for a wide range of public and private sector clients throughout the UK and Europe and in 2004 celebrated 21 years in business. ECOTEC is a member of the ECORYS group with 18 offices across 10 European countries.

Sudakshina Mukherjee

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