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Call for local Olympic workers

Labour leadership contender Diane Abbot has called on the Government to do more to ensure young people from London are given the opportunity to work on Olympic building projects.

Ms Abbott called for ministers to introduce targets in a bid to encourage companies to employ young workers from the host boroughs ahead of the 2012 London Games.

She said that at present just four apprentices on the Olympic site were from Hackney, adding that firms were not “fully utilising” the opportunity to train young people from the local area.

Ms Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, has tabled a Commons motion which “notes that all five Olympic boroughs have high levels of unemployment, particularly among young people; believes that further prioritisation by officials is needed in order to leave a true legacy for host boroughs; and calls on the Government to set targets to encourage recruitment of unemployed youngsters locally between now and 2012”.

Her call follows the revelation earlier this year that one in four workers on the £6bn Olympic building project was from overseas.

Data from the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) also showed 53% of the 9,100-strong Olympic Park and Village workforce were from London, with 20% “local” workers from the five host boroughs of Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Newham and Greenwich.

In a written Commons answer earlier this month, Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson said the ODA and its partners had put in place a range of measures to help local people access training and job opportunities on the site.

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