2012 skills crisis

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Construction of London 2012 Olympic venues is at risk because of an exodus of skilled Polish workers and a lack of qualified UK workers to replace them, industry figures have warned.

Construction of London 2012 Olympic venues is at risk because of an exodus of skilled Polish workers and a lack of qualified UK workers to replace them, industry figures have warned. A fast–track training scheme is being implemented to teach basic construction skills to Britons to remedy the shortage. The Olympic Delivery Authority and the London Development Agency (LDA) are to spend £20m – 23% of their training budget for London 2012 – in partnership with other organisations on raising the skills of the UK workforce to meet Olympic construction needs. Iain Macdonald, head of education and training at the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA), told UK newspaper The Times that Britain had become too dependent on a labour force that was now rapidly leaving for more prosperous countries. However, Andrew Teacher, spokesman for the British Property Federation, told the newspaper that it was likely British builders who had been laid off because of the economic downturn would move over to fill the skills gap in public building projects. The Times also reported that the training of electricians to work on building the Olympic Village is to be funded by the LDA and the ECA. The programme will enable 1, 500 workers nationwide to become fully qualified.

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