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Tackling worklessness

The government has said it hopes to use the effects of the London 2012 Olympic Games to eliminate child poverty and unemployment in the capital.

Gordon Brown met with London mayor Ken Livingstone today at an 11 Downing Street reception to underline the achievements the London Child Poverty Commission had made so far. Almost two-fifths of children in the capital live in poverty, a higher proportion than anywhere else in Britain, and the government wants to reduce this number by half by 2010, before completely eradicating child poverty by the end of the next decade.

"The Olympic and Paralympic Games are a great opportunity for us and I believe that it will inspire today's generation of children, and there are nearly 100,000 young volunteers, to reach their potential and achieve their aspirations."

The chancellor also said the Olympics will help overcome unemployment in London, today unveiling new targets aiming to encourage businesses to make more entry-level opportunities available, as well as securing public sector commitment to provide a steady supply of job-ready candidates.

Taking up Mr Brown's message, the London mayor added: "One of the main reasons I backed the 2012 bid was because I saw the potential of the 2012 games as a major catalyst for tackling some of the capital's worst social problems.

"Worklessness is the main contributor to child poverty in the capital and these initiatives will ensure many people who currently lack basic entry-level skills training will soon have a range of options to prepare them for employment as well as providing the all important jobs and volunteering opportunities which they can apply for."

From: London Olympics to 'eliminate child poverty', 17 Oct 2006, inthenews.co.uk

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