It’s now less than 250 days until the start of the London 2012 Olympics and while the athletes and venues are getting lots of attention, one area that isn’t, but is just as important, is the construction strategy. Leaving a lasting legacy of a successful games is something the Olympics committee has worked tirelessly on, ensuring right from the start that there was a positive impact on skills within the construction sector that will remain long after the athletes have packed up and left.
The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has worked with the Construction Skills Network (CSN) to make sure skills delivered matched what was needed and that every trainee who was involved in the build enhanced their own employment opportunities and that value was added to the industry.
An excellent two-tier training programme was put in place to give a boost not just to the workers’ core construction skills, but also to their long-term employment prospects. Tier one focused on a general introduction to specialist construction operators, while the second tier built upon these capabilities to prepare people for a career in the industry.
This programme has been a great success, not just for the industry’s current workforce, but for its future. Looking at recent figures revealed by the ODA, 1,580 previously unemployed and local people have worked on the Olympic Park, with more than 3,500 training places being taken up. An impressive 457 apprentices have also gained valuable experience.
It’s estimated that well over 100,000 people will work on the London Games, coming at a vital time when the UK economy struggles. Producing a powerful and lasting skills legacy during this is a great achievement and has done a great deal for the construction industry.
It’s essential that we don’t stop there and continue to deliver the right skills for growth, nationally as well as locally. Although very unique and not something that happens very often, the London Games has afforded the construction sector to put in a skills strategy that will last for a long time, proving how effective results are when businesses and individuals work successfully on an efficient delivery strategy.
Olympic fans in the UK are expectant of a strong showing by the athletes making sure the London Games is talked about for many decades to come. Regardless of the success of the athletes, the success of the construction sector is guaranteed to build a legacy that will be talked about for years and years.