A clear run to employment

A review of skills, employment and business capacity (towards social and economic sustainability)

January 2009

Tags: business, employment

London’s bid for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was founded on an ambition to stimulate vital economic and social regeneration in East and South East London where the Games were to be staged.

This review looked at the plans, programmes and projects to enable people to gain new skills, find employment and access business opportunities as a result of the Games.

Key Findings

  • Good progress in developing of programmes to enable people to obtain jobs on the Olympic Park, to gain additional training or to gain other skills
  • Many of the people accessing these opportunities were previously unemployed and from the Host Boroughs
  • The challenges of such a complex programme have been tackled head-on
  • New relationships have been forged between government agencies, voluntary sector groups and the Olympic delivery bodies
  • A high level of commitment from the Olympic Delivery Authority and its contractors to get local people into jobs on the Olympic Park
  • Enthusiastic and determined commitment by to ensure that this once in a lifetime opportunity is not lost
  • The plans and programmes for the delivery of the Games employment and skills commitments were made in good economic times. These should be reviewed to see how realistic they are and whether anything needs to be done differently in the challenging economic times ahead
  • It is time for LOCOG to develop fully their plans and programmes around Games-time paid staff and Games-time volunteers
  • An excellent system has been set up with the local jobs brokerages, some of which have had years of experience in doing this
  • The system has not been fully tested yet, as the numbers coming through have been relatively small to date. We strongly recommend that a fully on-line recruitment management package be utilised and a business continuity plan be put in place.

Recommendations

The Commission’s main recommendations on skills and employment:

  1. That LOCOG develop a strategy to provide employment opportunities for residents in the five Host Boroughs building on the experience of the ODA, making use where appropriate of existing resources and processes.
  2. That LOCOG develop a broad pre-Games volunteering engagement programme to capture the enthusiasm of those already having registered expressions of interest as Games-time volunteers linking to adult education opportunities to enable them to gain relevant skills. This should be done as soon as possible in order to provide volunteering opportunities through the Cultural Olympiad, Olympic test events, other sporting competitions and sponsor events.
  3. That the Joint Coordination Team should put in place a fully online recruitment system that is able to track individual applicants and be scalable for future requirements.
  4. That the Joint Coordination Team develop a business continuity plan with clear trigger mechanisms to ensure that the system is enabled to manage significantly higher levels of vacancies and continue to operate in the event of disruption.
  5. That as part of the roll-out of the London 2012 Jobs Skills Futures brand and the official launch of Relay London Jobs, a single point of entry be developed in terms of a single phone number and a web portal to ensure no one is restricted in accessing the employment and skills opportunities of London 2012.

The Commission’s other recommendations on skills and employment:

  1. That the Five Borough Partnership Board initiate a review of the Local Employment and Training Framework to be prepared concurrently with the review of the London Employment and Skills Taskforce for 2012 Action Plan under Recommendation 7 and to include a review of the underlying assumptions.
  2. That the London Employment and Skills Taskforce for 2012 Action Plan Implementation Group initiate a review of the LEST Action Plan in the light of the changed economic situation and the establishment of the London Skills and Employment Board. Such a review should be undertaken concurrently with the review of the Local Employment and Training Framework under Recommendation 6 and should include a review of the underlying assumptions.
  3. That the London Employment and Skills Taskforce for 2012 Action Plan Implementation Group incorporate a broader definition of a ‘sustainable job’ into future reviews of LEST and other programmes.
  4. That the London 2012 Sustainability Group incorporate a broader definition of a ‘sustainable job’ into future updates of the London 2012 Sustainability Plan.

10.  That the London Employment and Skills Taskforce for 2012 Action Plan Implementation Group and the London Skills and Employment Board ensure that the Olympic programme transition arrangements for the Learning and Skills Council are fully incorporated into the plans and programmes of all relevant partners and that any funding gaps are adequately addressed.

11.  That the LDA and other relevant organisations confirm their support and future funding of the London Employment and Skills Taskforce for 2012 Action Plan to the end of 2012 and beyond.

12.  That the ODA and partners establish an open single regular briefing session for stakeholders based on reporting of a standard suite of key indicators and an explanation of progress made and challenges ahead with a single online portal for relevant information.

13.  That the ODA and LOCOG clarify their own commitment to apprenticeships given the LEST target of 4,000 apprenticeships and provide an outline programme of how these opportunities are going to be delivered up to 2012.

14.  That the LDA, ODA, and LOCOG ensure that all tenders are placed on the CompeteFor on-line system and that clear regular reporting of winning contractors is posted on the system.

Finally, the Commission reflected on ‘what is a sustainable job?’ and came up with the following definition that it hopes will be helpful but will challenge thinking too.

A sustainable job is one that improves an individual’s life chances and benefits the community – environmentally, socially, and economically…

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