50,000 promised Olympic Jobs becomes 70,000 unpaid McVolunteers

No Jobs only McVolunteers

No Jobs only McVolunteers

Countless employers are now facing the problem of dealing with twenty three working days without key employees come 2012.  The deadline to volunteer for the Olympics is the 27th of October, 2010. The London 2012 Olympics Organising Committee (LOCOG) have stated that 70,000 voluntary positions need to be filled, but more than 100,000  people have already applied. The voluntary roles consist of general and specialised positions, from desk staff, events stewards and drivers. Volunteers must work for a minimum of 10 days for the Games, and 20 for the Paralympic Games. Training is also mandatory for all participants.

There are also a further 8000 positions to be filled for the role of “London Ambassadors”, which would involve helping the vastly overstated and questionable increase of tourists and visitors in 2012 find their way around the city.

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These voluntary positions have been the source of much controversy. Back in 2007 London’s Employment and Skills Taskforce and the London Development Agency (LDA) were talking of the Olympics creating up to 50,000 new jobs in the Lower Lea Valley. Dee Doocey, chair of the Committee for Economic Development, Culture, Sport, and Tourism, the leading committee on the London Assembly for scrutinising the Olympics, commented on the announcement of a new ‘Living Wage’ for London of £7.20 an hour:

“The Mayor and Seb Coe signed an ‘Ethical contract’ with London Citizens before winning the Olympics, promising a Living Wage for everyone involved. Yet to date, no Living Wage has been included in the contracts allocated and Seb Coe told the London Assembly that ‘any of the issues about a living wage is a consideration, not a condition’. This is of great concern because LOCOG will be letting contracts for all the traditionally low paid jobs such as catering and cleaning. As for local businesses exploiting the games, as Coe had suggested, it is more likely that existing businesses will be endangered.”

The “workers” will be given Macdonalds meals and bus travel for the day, but are not even allowed free tickets for the events. To read more on this click here, here, and here.

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White elephant Olympic site on horizon

The Olympic site risks becoming a white elephant due a plan that “lacks detail” and a  budget which is “underdeveloped”. The London assembly’s economic development, culture, sport and tourism committee, stressed in a recent report “There is concern that, given the experience of other cities that planned long in advance of actually staging the games, we are missing the boat”.

The Guardian reported that the committee charged with overseeing spending on the £9.3bn game has concluded that the lack of a tenant for the main stadium means there are “serious doubts as to the future financial viability of the venue and hence attractiveness of the park site to business investment”. Aspirations to create between 9,000 and 10,000 jobs in the Olympic Park could be at risk without private funding, it warns.

In a letter to The Guardian on July 4th, an assembly member argued that the lack of affordable housing being created by the Olympics, particularly for families meant that the legacy was going to leave nothing but a concrete eyesore.


Will the Olympics develop any of the promises it made to Londoners in the bid?

Given the destruction caused by the Olympics and the lack of solid plans for after the event, is it worth it?

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