Skills project helps jobless young aim for the Olympics

CENTRAL Beds College in Dunstable and its partners a1 Training are offering to train currently unemployed teenagers with skills and get them a guaranteed interview to work at next year’s Olympics.

Students who enrol on courses as part of the Bridging the Gap (BtG) project will be guaranteed an interview to apply to work at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The BtG project is currently being offered by around 80 further education colleges across the country, each providing students with qualifications to work as part of a workforce to help support the venue security operation at the games.

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The project was directly inspired by the security requirements for London 2012 and aims to address the ongoing skills shortage in the security industry.

Successful graduates will be guaranteed an interview with the security contractor G4S appointed by the London 2012 Organising Committee to supplement the security requirements at the games. If they are successful, they will perform a range of duties to ensure spectator safety.

The BtG project will provide opportunities for over 8,000 people, with many being exposed to a fresh range of career opportunities for the first time. The project is supported by the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), with the additional support of The Home Office and the British Security Industry Association (BSIA).

David Evans, London 2012 project director at the BSIA said “There are currently 900,000 young people out of work in the UK. Bridging the Gap will equip those on the project to work in areas ranging from aviation to retail and from manufacturing to financial services.

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“We are delighted that FE colleges across the country are so committed to attracting students to become involved in this initiative. It is boosting the professionalism of the sector by putting it on a firm academic footing”.

Students who become part of the project can gain qualifications in ‘Understanding Stewarding at Spectator Events’ and the ‘Level 2 in Door Supervision’; the latter qualification being necessary to apply for a Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence.

This innovative project is intended to accelerate the increase of standards and professional skills in the security industry and become a legacy of the Games for the industry and the UK in the long term.

The individuals will have worked with security companies on a variety of events leading up to the London 2012 games.

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Adults who will be over the age of 18 by July 1, 2012, who have signed on with Jobcentre Plus, are eligible to apply for the BtG project qualifications.

For further information contact 01582 861607 or visit

The programmes are funded by the European Social Fund in conjunction with Bedfordshire and Luton Borough Councils and the Learning and Skills Council which means the course is free to those who qualify.