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Skills & training will help companies compete for Olympic contracts


Employers in London should put skills and training centre stage if they want to profit from the 2012 Games, skills minister David Lammy said today as he launched an action plan for business leaders.

Mr Lammy said the Games mean good news for businesses and people in the capital and across the country. London 2012 is expected to generate around £6bn in business contracts directly, with 75,000 supply chain opportunities, creating thousands of new jobs. The government wants to work with employers to help them gain the skills they need to win the work.

Springboard for Success, published today, illustrates the variety of opportunities for the UK's employers around London 2012. It explains how companies in all sectors can prepare their firms to reap the potential benefits by participating in government-backed skills training programmes.

For example, support is available through Train to Gain, which provides advice to businesses on how to meet their outstanding skills needs. Further support is available through the Apprenticeships programme and through Skills for Life, which provides free literacy, ICT, English and numeracy training. Local Employment Partnerships also provide work-ready employees from the community.

Ministers believe that the Games give firms the opportunity to create a workforce skilled at every level, helping businesses of all sizes to diversify and grow, and enabling local economies to be competitive over the longer term.

Skills minister David Lammy said: "The Olympic Games present a fantastic opportunity for businesses to tap in to sources of revenue that will endure long after 2012. But whether you're based in Tottenham or Totnes, whether you employ 15 staff or 15 hundred, availability of people with the right skills is essential.

"The Government has accessible schemes to help recruit new employees equipped with relevant skills, and to boost the know-how of the current workforce. Through Train to Gain, Apprenticeships and Local Employment Partnerships, we will make sure every company can make the most of the opportunities presented by the 2012 Games."

Of the business opportunities already awarded as a result of the Games - valued at more than £2bn - 70 per cent have been secured by small and medium-sized businesses.

There will ultimately be some 75,000 business opportunities, although many will be linked to construction and transportation, there are also myriad opportunities in catering, merchandising, media, security, and telecommunications.

Companies that gear up to win London 2012 contracts should also be well placed to compete for further public sector work. Government contracts are worth £150bn annually - ministers want this money to help boost local skills, helping communities become more prosperous, and are currently reviewing how to ensure more of this money goes to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Stephen Timms, minister for employment and welfare reform, said: "The 2012 Games is a great opportunity for individuals and employers throughout the UK. New jobs will be created and there will be opportunities to access training and learn new skills. The government is working to ensure that these economic benefits will remain long after the games have come to an end."


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