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Locals 'not guaranteed' Olympic jobs

EAST Londoners will not be given preference when going for jobs involved with the 2012 Olympics, a senior Games official has admitted. Lord Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG), said that due to European legislation it is not possible to force companies involved with the Olympics to employ a certain percentage of local people.

Instead the focus appears to be on encouraging Londoners to become volunteers and to get businesses to make more entry-level jobs available. The Employer Accord scheme aims to get businesses to commit to making more entry-level positions available in return for a commitment from the public sector to provide a supply of "job ready" candidates. The Pre-Volunteer-ing Programme hopes to encourage "workless and socially excluded individuals" to complete training in areas such as basic health and safety, customer care and service.

This is said will guarantee them an interview to become a standard volunteer during the Games, and allow them to apply their skills at other events. The proposal states that those completing their training should have a good chance of obtaining employment in many industries before the start of the Games. MP for Poplar & Canning Town, Jim Fitzpatrick, backs volunteering. In a letter to a secondary school teacher he wrote: "It's not essential that you have to be a great athlete yourself. But we're looking for stewards, marshals, first-aiders, drivers and so on."

From: Locals 'not guaranteed' Olympic jobs, Elsie Kvist, Newham Recorder, 01 11 06,

More at: Pre-Volunteering Programme

See also: Tackling Worklessness

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