pound;5m extra for Olympic site jobs

12th October 2007 at 01:00

An extra pound;5 million is being handed to London for training to prepare for the 2012 Olympics. The cash from the Learning and Skills Council is to be spent on everything from coaching elite athletes to setting up apprenticeships in construction and learning placements in broadcasting.

David Lammy, the skills minister, said: "London 2012 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for individuals, employers and all of us.

"Working with the Mayor, we are determined to assist employers in meeting their skills needs to build and deliver the Games and their legacy."

The investment includes funding for 50 new advanced apprenticeships in sporting excellence, so that potential stars of swimming and tennis can receive expert coaching. Other sports will be included in the future, the LSC hopes.

There will also be 188 new apprenticeships in sports and leisure to increase the number of coaches in the capital for grassroots sports. And there will be bursaries for 400 more coaches.

People out of work due to ill-health will be retrained as construction trade assessors, while 100 teenagers will be recruited to new construction apprenticeships focusing on specialisms such as steel, where London currently has to hire in talent from the north-east of England.

There will also be 200 extra apprenticeships in hospitality and customer service. Research by the sector skills councils predicts there will be 12,000 new jobs for hotel, conference, restaurant and catering managers by 2012.

With the Olympics being broadcast from a media centre catering for 33,000 of the world's journalists, the LSC is also spending pound;384,000 on creating work-based learning places for broadcasting technicians.

Harvey Redgrave, Olympics director for the London LSC, said: "We want to broaden out the broadcasting sector so it becomes an opportunity for people who are disadvantaged. It's an area where growth is sustainable in London, so it can be a lasting legacy."

He said the problem with jobs in broadcasting was not so much that there was a skills shortage, but that the necessity of working for free to gain experience, and networks of nepotism and favours, meant that many people were excluded.

Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London 2012 organising committee, said: "London 2012 has always been about much more than sport we want to use the transformational power of the Games to be a catalyst for good. This investment is another tangible example of how the Games can change lives."

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