The Minister joined local women at the Plant Training Centre on the Olympic Park while they gained first-hand experience on diggers and other equipment and learned more about the training and employment opportunities available helping build the venues and infrastructure for the London 2012 Games.
The taster sessions are part of a ‘Women into Construction’, a ground-breaking Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) initiative funded by the London Development Agency and Construction Skills to help women access training and jobs on the Olympic Park and secure work placements for at least 50 women a year. The Minister also met women that the project has already helped get training and work on the Olympic Park.
Women in manual trades make up just 2 per cent of the national construction workforce. There are currently 155 women working for the Olympic Park, 34 of whom were placed by Women into Construction, in jobs ranging from dumper truck driver to general machine operative.
Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell said: 'The London 2012 Women into Construction project is an excellent example of how we are using the Games to blaze a trail for equal employment opportunities.
'Not only will this programme help more women get construction jobs working on the Games, but also make a significant contribution to breaking down gender barriers within the industry as a whole.'
ODA Director of Construction Howard Shiplee said: 'London 2012 is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the fascinating and fulfilling careers open to women in the construction industry. Through the Women into Construction project we are also working closely with our contractors, training organisations, the five Host Boroughs and local networks to attract, train and support women into construction. This challenging project is part of our efforts to ensure London 2012 leaves a long term employment legacy for east London by helping local people, particularly those currently unemployed, access training and jobs on the Olympic Park.'
Andy Walder, Director of the National Construction College – the training arm of ConstructionSkills – stated: 'The National Construction College is playing an important role in the delivery of skills for the Olympic Park build and is delighted to be improving the employment prospects for local women – particularly as the construction industry needs to recruit from a much more diverse pool of recruits if we are to remain competitive.
'The Women into Construction initiative complements our wider Sector Skills Council targets to improve the diversity of the workforce, and the Olympic project is fast becoming the model case study for success in this area.'
Geoff Newton, London Development Agency Director of Olympic Opportunity, said: 'The LDA is focused on delivering lasting benefits to Londoners for jobs, skills and growth presented by the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
'The Women into Construction Project aims to increase the proportion of women employed to build the Olympic Park and venues. It is an important part of our work to ensure as many people as possible can benefit from the employment, business and sporting opportunities linked to the London 2012 Games.'
The unique Women into Construction initiative includes:
Notes to Editors
Images of the construction taster event for women on the Olympic Park today including Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell can be downloaded from http://mm.gettyimages.com/mm/nicePath/locog?nav=pr119421297
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The construction of the venues and infrastructure of the London 2012 Games is funded by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor, The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Mayor of London and the London Development Agency.
Find out the latest from London 2012 HQ on our blog.
- Working with the five host borough job brokerage units, Jobcentre Plus services and local networks to encourage women to register their interest in work on the Olympic Park.
- Arranging training courses tailored to the current and expected needs of the contractors on site
- Matching women to employment opportunities once their training is completed.
- Providing financial support for things like safety clothing and travel costs.
- Working closely with Olympic Park contractors to identify opportunities and ensure recruitment processes are fair for men and women.
- Supporting women once they are working on site to help deal with any issues and arrange any further training required.
Women intro Construction is part of the ODA ‘Jobs, Skills, Futures’ skills strategy which includes
- A new jobs brokerage service, in partnership with Jobcentre Plus and the five Host Boroughs, that matches candidates living locally and elsewhere in the UK with Olympic Park job opportunities. Over 250 people have been placed into jobs through the brokerage since May 2008.
- A National Skills Academy for Construction, funded by ConstructionSkills, the Learning and Skills Council and the London Development Agency. This coordinates training across a range of providers for people to get the skills needed to win work on the Olympic Park and continue their career development once in work.
- As part of this Academy a Plant Training Centre on the Olympic Park site providing local people with practical training tailored to the needs of contractors. Just under 272 people have graduated from the Plant Training Centre since its launch in February 2008.
- A target of 2,000 trainees, Apprenticeships and work placements working on the Olympic Park and other London 2012 venues, including Women into Construction which is funded by the London Development Agency and Construction Skills. There are currently 230 Apprentices and trainees working on the Olympic Park.