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Secure Olympics in Londoner’s hands

06 June 2012

London’s six Olympic host boroughs are the big winners in the race to provide security personnel for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, according to figures released by official security provider G4S.

Between them, the boroughs have more than 10,500 candidates currently undergoing security screening and training, from a London-wide total of more than 25,000. Assuming most candidates pass the necessary checks, at least 40 per cent of the G4S Olympic workforce will be from the six ‘host’ boroughs: Barking and Dagenham (1,353 recruits); Greenwich (1,396); Hackney (1,296); Newham (3,473); Tower Hamlets (1,630) and Waltham Forest (1,550).

Top of the podium is Newham, which has nearly 3,500 local residents going through screening and training, with Tower Hamlets taking silver position, closely followed by Redbridge in bronze with 1,575 candidates.

Mark Hamilton Managing Director of G4S London 2012, said: “It was always our intention to mobilise a large part of our workforce from the six boroughs around the Olympic Park in East London.

“I am delighted that we are on target to secure the services of thousands of local people who will help make the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games safe and secure. I am also thrilled that so many have come forward to seek work; they have a very responsible, and I hope rewarding, part to play in the sporting extravaganza and they are helping to add to the buzz of excitement that is building around London 2012.

“But the fact that we have so many new employees isn’t just good news for the Games, it is good news for London and Britain, particularly when you consider the issue of youth unemployment.

“The scale of our operation is so big that it will have a massive positive impact on jobs. The people who we are recruiting are gaining precious work experience but also significant volumes of training that will stand them in good stead for a permanent job once the Olympics is over, either inside G4S or in the wider jobs market. This will be a practical, enduring and broad legacy of the London Games.”

G4S confirmed that over 105,000 people have applied for positions at the various Olympic venues, and that over 3,800 have already been deployed, either working on the Olympic Park itself in Stratford, or across the country in other venues.

Among the successful candidates to start working before the Games begin is Clifford Farrell of Hackney. Once an aspiring marathon runner in Montserrat, Clifford left the island with his family in 1999 to pursue a better life in Britain after volcanic eruptions destroyed its capital.

Clifford, who was chosen from over 105,000 applicants to work as part of the G4S team as a Security Operational Supervisor, said: “It means so much to me and my family to be a part of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London. I was an athlete myself in my home country in the West Indies and sport remains a passion of mine. Working for G4S has given me the opportunity to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds and play a really important role in this historical event.

“I’m really proud to be involved in the Games and contribute in some way. I’ve learnt a lot throughout my training and I hope to stay with G4S beyond London 2012.”

As the Official Security Provider, G4S has been asked by the Games organisers LOCOG, to provide 10,400 security staff for the Games, and to train and manage the bulk of the 23,700 strong security workforce. A former secondary school in Newham has been converted by G4S into a training and recruitment centre, with up to 1,500 recruits passing through its doors every week.

Although the bulk of roles will be temporary, ending after the Paralympics in September, thousands of people will have gained SIA (Security Industry Authority) qualifications and licences on top of the unique experience of working in the Games, which will be valuable for their future careers.

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