30 December 2008

London Olympics will need thousands of foreign workers

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A recent report shows that tens of thousands of foreign workers would be needed in the construction of the 2012 London Olympic Games infrastructure, reports the Telegraph.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) found that the impending Games would create near to 40,000 jobs in East London, and that UK immigration would be responsible for filling nearly all of these positions. Their reasoning is that the time and money to train local workers to the right standard would far outweigh the efficiency of hiring foreign workers.

Laura Chappell, a contributing author of the report, said the UK has been suffering from a shortage of construction workers for some time now, and she feels the construction of the Olympic Games would not meet deadlines.

"That is a concern.  The UK construction industry has been having a shortage for a number of years.  With the Olympics we have an immoveable deadline," she said.

The author also criticised the new points-based system for UK immigration, claiming that it is not flexible enough to accommodate the needs of the Games' construction.

The report found that only a small proportion of the building jobs would be filled with local labour, forcing construction bosses to use workers from Eastern Europe or outside the European Union for the necessary skills to complete the project.

"The host boroughs showed a marked lack of managers, engineers and other professionals, clerical workers and plumbers compared to the rest of the UK," authors said in the report.

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visa and immigration services.

Article by Jessica Bird, UK Visa Bureau.

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