A review of the employment and skills opportunities of the 2012 Games-time period

12 July 2011

This report, by the Economy, Culture and Sport Committee, highlights four key hurdles standing in the way of getting more low-skilled and unemployed Londoners into work during the Games and concludes that more still needs to be done.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), and its contractors, aim to recruit more than 100,000 people for jobs including catering, cleaning, waste, security, hospitality, tourism and leisure. They will be joined by up to 70,000 volunteers.

The main hurdles identified by the Committee include: 

  • Disincentives in the benefits system
  • More competition in the labour market due to the effects of the recession
  • Uncertainty around future funding for local employment support programmes
  • Uncertainty around the impact of the new Work Programme in London

The report warns that the recession has made the jobs market more competitive and uncertainty over long-term funding for employment support programmes may further widen the gap between those in and out work.

Key recommendations:

  • JobCentre Plus should do more to ensure that the benefits system does not discourage recipients from taking on Games-time roles, which may only last up to three months. At present, applicants can face delays in reclaiming their benefits when short-term jobs come to an end, potentially leaving them out of pocket.
  • LOCOG should work closer with the voluntary sector to identify Games-related vacancies and match them up with potential applicants
  • LOCOG should aim to recruit at least seven percent of its workforce from welfare-to-work schemes which target the long-term unemployed
  • The Mayor, Host Boroughs and LOCOG should urgently meet the six London Prime Contractors who will operate the new Work Programme, to seek their support for Games-time employment targets.
  • LOCOG should constructively challenge its contractors to recruit long-term unemployed people and local residents. It should update the Committee on progress.