Since 2007 only nine people have completed the London Olympics apprenticeship scheme, which has been designed to train 350 staff.
Figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the Evening Standard show that so far five electricians, one bricklayer and one plumber have completed the training, casting doubt on the pledge that the Olympics will be able to create a ‘skills legacy’.
While these figures appear worrying it is worth noting that most of the apprentices are not due to complete their courses until several years after the 2012 Games.
The news comes as the level of grants to be provided to construction apprentices are set to be cut by 10%, according to the construction union UCATT.
Alan Ritchie, general secretary of UCATT, said: “The decision to reduce the grants for apprenticeships is short-sighted, unnecessary and will harm the industry. Most employers already have to be virtually dragged kicking and screaming to employ apprentices. The cut in apprenticeship grants will give them a further excuse not to employ apprentices.”
But the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) last month made a commitment to an additional 250 apprenticeships is to be created on the Olympic Park and Olympic Village, making a total of 350, partly through the inclusion of a specific requirement to take on apprentices in future contracts. It added that currently 199 apprentices have been recruited onto the project.