London Olympics to reserve up to 200,000 jobs for Brits

Tens of thousands of jobs for the 2012 Olympic Games will be exclusively reserved for British workers, Personnel Today can reveal.

Jean Tomlin, HR director at the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, said that up to 200,000 posts – about one-third of which will be voluntary – would be filled by home-grown workers.

“This is a UK event and we are focused on ensuring opportunities are here for people in the UK,” she said. “I am optimistic that we will see 200,000 UK posts. We don’t work in guarantees, but our aspirations are in that direction.”

Trade unions have already expressed concerns that jobs would go to foreign workers. Personnel Today has previously revealed that some IT roles will be based offshore.

Last year, Atos Origin confirmed it would provide technological support for the 2012 Olympics from London and Barcelona.

But Tomlin said: “At an international level, companies such as Atos are providers to all the games. My focus is on the 200,000 positions we have [in the UK].”

She was speaking as the Olympic Delivery Authority revealed its employment and skills strategy at the rubble-strewn Olympic Park in East London last week.

Among the policies unveiled was a target of at least 10% of the Olympic Park construction workforce to be from London’s five host boroughs, with a minimum of 7% of workers having been previously unemployed.

The TUC gave a cautious welcome to the plans. Mike Smith, Olympic co-ordinator at the union body, said: “We are at quite an early stage, but there are a lot of our people concerned that as things get more difficult the temptation will be to bring in ready-trained workers from abroad.”

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Key targets in Olympics jobs strategy

  • 100% of 2012 Games construction jobs to be filled
  • At least 10% to come from the five host boroughs
  • Minimum of 2,000 people into apprenticeships and work placements
  • 7% of the workforce to be previously unemployed

Source: Olympic Delivery Authority

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