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Jon Kennard

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Insight: Games a ‘once in a lifetime’ career step

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A poll of more than 10,000 students by Adecco has shown just how important the London 2012 Games are, in terms of providing a platform to gain new skills and launch their careers.
At a time when students and graduates face a competitive jobs market, the Games are seen as a one-off opportunity to make real progression in their careers and gain a professional advantage, through improving skills such as teamwork and handling pressure.
The poll of 10,410 students who have registered for a job through the official job board shows that the chance to gain new skills is the biggest motivator for working at the Games (69%), ahead of passion for sport (44%), simply wanting a summer job (33%), earning money (26%) or making friends (21%).
90% of those polled say that the Games present them with the chance of a lifetime when it comes to getting ahead in their careers, and 93% say that the Games will help their longer term career plans.
A recent survey of the Games workforce by Adecco showed that teamwork is seen as the most important attribute needed to work at the Games (72%), followed by communication skills (61%), interpersonal skills (44%) and an ability to handle pressure (37%). As well as putting a high profile event on the CV, a job at the Games give students a great chance to demonstrate these skills, whether it be working as a steward, selling merchandise or working as part of the catering staff.
Steve Girdler, Director of 2012 Partnership, Adecco Group, said, “We have seen an extraordinary response from students, who clearly see the Games as a huge opportunity to gain fantastic work experience in a busy, high pressure environment. It represents a chance to put an event of enormous magnitude on their CVs, and really make a mark with prospective employees.”
Melissa Solkhon, 18, who is studying for an Extended Diploma in Uniformed Public Services at South Essex College and found a job through the site said: “I think that the Olympics is a fantastic opportunity to really stand out from the crowd when it comes to applying for jobs. To be a part of the biggest security team in UK history will be such a highlight on my CV.”
When it comes to getting ahead in the jobs market, work experience at the Games (27%) is ranked as more beneficial than other work experience outside the Games (14%) or personal networks (12%). However, students still see their degrees as valuable when it comes to securing future employment (42%).
The poll also shows that more female students have applied for roles, with the male / female split at 63% / 37%. There has also been an overwhelming response from overseas students, with nearly half (43%) of respondents saying they come from outside Britain.

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Jon Kennard

Freelance writer

Read more from Jon Kennard
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