There are now 60 apprentices helping to prepare the Park for its phased reopening from July this year. Their work includes converting Olympic venues for public use, building new parkland and creating new roads and other infrastructure.
The apprentices represent 5% of the total Park workforce exceeding the Legacy’s Corporation’s 3% apprentice target. Almost all (97%) of the apprentices are from the local area and 25% are women – both groups are a key focus for the Legacy Corporation to help break down employment barriers and ensure that local communities are benefitting.
Dennis Hone, Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said:
“Apprenticeships change lives and we are determined to offer as many opportunities as possible. It’s a fantastic achievement to have 5% of our workforce learning their trade and helping to create a new part of London in the process.
“Our plans to develop the area span 20 years so we can help create a ladder of opportunity where the apprentices of today become the managing directors of tomorrow.”
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said:
“These apprenticeships are yet another excellent legacy of the Games. London’s apprentices make a brilliant contribution to our economy and it’s a two way street for all involved – with employers benefiting from fresh ideas and an entrepreneurial spirit, while apprentices gain confidence and a competitive understanding of the workplace.”
The apprentices are working on a £292million transformation project called ‘Clear, Connect, Complete.’ It will clear Games overlay including the removal of temporary venues, walkways and stands, connect the Park to the surrounding areas with new roads and pathways and complete the Park’s venues to their legacy designs for everyone to enjoy.
They are working with contractor BAM Nuttall and training provider Reds10. Further construction apprenticeship opportunities will become available with other contractors over the course of the 18 month project which will finish in spring 2014 and employ up to 1200 people at peak.
Vic Grimes, Divisional Apprenticeship Director – London and South East, National Apprenticeship Service, said:
“This is a great story for London, The Olympics created a positive vibe in the capital and the London Legacy Development Corporation is building on this by creating more job opportunities.
“Young local residents are being given the opportunity to learn and earn while gaining invaluable real work experiences and knowledge through these apprenticeships. This announcement during Apprenticeship Week demonstrates how Apprenticeships develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.”
Apprentice Robert Brown, 20, of Tower Hamlets, said:
“I left school at 16 and did some construction work. But by 17, I was hanging around the wrong type of people. I decided that I needed to sort myself out and I was lucky enough to land an apprenticeship on the Park.
“I love working on the Park. I’d encourage others to get an apprenticeship – it feels good to be working towards something.”
Apprentice Leanne Doig, 21, of Newham, said:
“We are working on one of the most exciting projects in the world because the outcome is going to be a fantastic new Park for east London.
“Being an apprentice is all about determination and I’m showing everyone that I can do it. We need more women in the construction industry and if I can do it so can others.”
The Legacy Corporation has also ensured an apprenticeship legacy when the Park reopens with 410 apprenticeship places being offered over 10 years by GLL, operator of the Copper Box and the Aquatics Centre, and Balfour Beatty Workplace, operator of the ArcelorMittal Orbit and park maintenance.
Those interested in construction apprentices on the Park should email [email protected].