“They will have on their CVs an Olympic qualification for the rest of their lives”
A single mother from Islington has become one of the 12,000 Londoners who have been offered jobs at the Games this summer.
Sarah Stephenson quit her job as an accountant to work as a cook for VIPs at the Olympic said: “It’s a once a lifetime opportunity. We’ll be in the kitchen sweating 12 and 16-hour shifts and I can’t wait. Hopefully I’ll cook for the Prime Minister or for Usain Bolt.”
Boris Johnson said “There are thousands of people in the host boroughs getting jobs — school-leavers getting positions in catering, security and cleaning jobs. They will have on their CVs an Olympic qualification for the rest of their lives and there is no doubt it will lead to long term employment.”
The Mayor has established a jobs legacy fund for recruitment agencies who will be paid up to £14 million in total if new workers receive vocational training and remain in a job for six months or more. Some 37,000 people have previously landed jobs or had training linked to the Games.
Photo credit: LOCOG
All set for Sochi
Populous, the company that provided planning and design services for the Olympic Park, is now applying that expertise in developing the Sochi Masterplan for the 2014 Winter Olympics – exemplifying how UK plc is capitalising on the knowledge and skills developed during London 2012.
“So much has gone into respecting the capital’s heritage,” said Patricia Fernandez of Populous. “It never steps being amazing seeing it all come together – you really feel proud to be a part of it, and see the beautiful transformation of the city.”
That pride is now turning into further exciting business opportunities, with Populous being among a growing number of UK-based firms winning contracts for the Sochi and Rio Games.
The process is supported by the UKTI’s Host2Host programme, which helps to forge business partnerships with other countries involved in hosting major sporting events.
Major business boost for Kent fencing firm
The old saying that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence was certainly true for a Kent firm who have used an Olympic Park contract to help them expand their business.
Chestnut Products, which specialises in commercial fencing was one of thousands of companies that benefited from CompeteFor – an online service which allows businesses to compete for opportunities linked to London 2012.
“The London 2012 contract has had many positive impacts on our business,” said the company’s Roderick Parrish. “Apart from the obvious financial advantage of securing a large contract, we have taken on new staff and developed our ability to effectively run large scale operations.
“It has raised our profile to contractors working within the Olympic Park, allowing us to compete for many other fencing packages for the Games.”
Mother’s Pride thanks to London 2012
An East London mother is making her kids proud by becoming one of the thousands of local people supported into employment in the run-up to London 2012.
It had been a long time since Farzana had worked in retail but she was taken on by John Lewis at Westfield Stratford Shopping Centre after training with Skills Place, which is providing careers advice, training and development opportunities for hundreds of Londoners.
As a partnership between Newham Council and Westfield, it forms part of a major drive to boost skills and reduce unemployment in the host boroughs around the Olympic Park.
“I am so pleased I got offered a position with John Lewis,” she explained. “I don’t think my children thought I could do it, but they are very proud of me!”
Around 2,000 local residents have found work at Westfield which will be the gateway to the Olympic Park during the summer, with most spectators passing through it en route to venues.