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Volume 469: debated on Monday 10 December 2007

3. What steps are being taken to improve the skills of local people seeking work on the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games. (172191)

I pay tribute to my hon. Friend’s long campaign on increasing skills, especially among the most disadvantaged people. She will be pleased to know that the Olympic site will become a national skills academy for construction, providing specialist skills to local workers through at least 1,000 job and training placements, with more than 500 apprenticeship places. Training is also under way in other key sectors: media, sport and hospitality.

I thank my right hon. Friend for that answer. I am thinking about Olympic projects up and down the country as well. What kind of work is the Department doing to identify the skills that will be needed between now and 2012 so that places such as Laing O’Rourke, which is near my constituency—it is between Bolsover and Bassetlaw—and employs 320 skilled workers, can benefit from those projects?

That is precisely what we want to achieve. I know that my hon. Friend will work closely with her regional development agency, which has ambitious plans, and the Learning and Skills Council to ensure that her constituents have the opportunity to become skilled and be eligible for jobs in not only the Olympic park but her constituency.