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Olympics minister misses the mark on skill shortages

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Olympics minister Tessa Jowell’s calls for a recruitment revolution will not bring about social change, or help transform the position of women in the construction industry in the build up to the 2012 Olympics, a leading supplier of talent to the construction industry has warned.

The Olympics needs highly skilled workers from the largest possible pool of talent available, and it is only by encouraging people from all sectors of the community at home and abroad, that London will be able to host the most spectacular Olympics event to date, says Resourcing Solutions.

Richard Lawrance, managing director of Resourcing Solutions said: “It’s quite astounding that the Olympics minister would rather call for a ‘social transformation’ to address the very real issue of under-representation of women in construction and engineering industries, than discuss less ‘headline grabbing’ but salient issues such as bursaries and scholarships for women in construction industries.”

He added: “I would have thought the minister would know that top-down revolutions always fail - what’s needed is a grass roots approach! We need to encourage women through offering vocational courses and keeping women’s interest in engineering while still at school. The number of further education colleges offering bursaries to women who want to study engineering is still much too low. Now is the time to address core issues such as education. Instead of calling on the industry to transform itself, government needs to address the role of women in construction through the key role it plays in education and training.”

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