Olympic chiefs ‘must raise game’ by hiring more locals

With just one year to go before the 2012 Games figures continue to show only three per cent of workers at the Olympic site come from Tower Hamlets.

The number of East Enders working at the site has remained at around three per cent since construction began in 2008, according to figures by the Olympic Delivery Authority, responsible for building the venues and infrastructure.


Bethnal Green and Bow MP Rushanara Ali described the figures as “extremely disappointing” and called on Olympic organisers to “raise their game”.

Ms Ali said: “With less than a year to go before the Games, it is extremely disappointing that only three per cent of Tower Hamlets residents have got into these jobs when thousands of jobs were promised.”

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MP for Poplar and Limehouse, Jim Fitzpatrick, also described the figures as “very disappointing” and admitted not knowing why the borough had not performed better. Mr Fitzpatrick added: “We’ll have to look at why it was not a better outcome.”

More than 40,000 people have worked on the Olympic Park and Athletes’ Village. But the workforce is now just under 11,000 as construction nears completion.

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Twenty-five per cent of current workers live in one of the five host boroughs. Tower Hamlets and Greenwich are second from bottom with each borough making up just three per cent. Hackney comes out worst at two per cent and Newham is top with 11 per cent. During the whole construction period only 15.6 per cent of workers came from the host boroughs.

ODA director of construction, Howard Shiplee, said: “By meeting our commitments to help provide training and employment opportunities for local and previously unemployed people, the ‘big build’ has created a positive employment legacy for thousands of people.”

Earlier this year Tower Hamlets signed an agreement with LOCOG giving residents 72 hours advance notice of jobs with the Olympic organising committee, responsible for staging the Games.

According to the council 138 residents have secured jobs with LOCOG and at eight per cent Tower Hamlets has the highest proportion of residents among the host boroughs working for LOCOG.

A LOCOG spokeswoman said: “We are continuing to work closely with local authorities, job brokerages and Host Borough Units to ensure local residents know about upcoming employment opportunities at London 2012, whether it’s with LOCOG or through contractor opportunities.”

A council spokeswoman declined to comment on the ODA figures but said: “LOCOG recruitment will start to build up later in the year reaching a peak next April.”

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