Bridging the gap to help keep the Olympic Games safe in 2012

STUDENTS who enrol on courses as part of the Bridging the Gap (BtG) project through a1 Training in partnership with Central Beds College 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 specialist qualifications to work as part of a highly trained and motivated workforce to help support the venue security operation at the Games. 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.

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The BtG project will provide opportunities for more than 8,000 people, with many being exposed to a fresh range of career opportunities for the first time. 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. 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 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. The CCTV Award and the NVQ in Spectator Safety qualifications are also part of the project. To date, more than 3,000 young people and adults have gained a relevant qualification from over 80 colleges and training providers across the UK.

The project has been designed to provide outstanding career opportunities and, through the BSIA, guaranteed job interviews with a BSIA member, while also giving students excellent work experience at numerous annual major sporting events such as Wembley, Wimbledon, Ascot, Cheltenham, Epsom and at the biennial Ryder Cup.

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 say organisers.

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