Although it doesn’t seem two minutes since we were waiting with bated breath to see who would be hosting the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, it’s now a year away and the UK is on countdown.
With thousands of visitors, competitors and utlets needing the services of hospitality staff , it will be an exciting time, with a wide range of Olympics job vacancies to fill, from chefs and bar staff to hotel jobs and contract caterers.
Are jobs available now?
At the moment, London 2012 is all about construction jobs, planning and training, but with 30,000 people involved in the construction of the Olympic Park, some of the food service, accommodation and cleaning services are already operating.
Which regions of London and the UK will benefit?
There are five London host boroughs - Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest - and early last year, London Mayor Boris Johnson announced almost £20 million of funding to help unemployed jobseekers in these boroughs to access jobs created by the Olympics.
Although most Olympic action will be in London, some of the 31 Olympic venues are outside the capital, for instance, canoeing in Hertfordshire and football at several stadiums around the UK, so there will be regional job opportunities too.
What sort of jobs will be available during London 2012?
A staggering 14 million meals are expected to be served during the Games, on top of which thousands of people will need accommodation and related services, so a full mix of hospitality staff will be called for, both skilled and unskilled.
In addition, about 100,000 contract staff will be required for security jobs, catering, stewarding jobs and cleaning, and although many of these jobs will be temporary, all Olympics staff will receive training, to give them a valuable route into future work.
Hotel, bar and restaurant jobs in London
It goes without saying that a massive increase in tourism is expected both during and after the event, so hotels, restaurants and pubs are already gearing up for London 2012.
Typical examples are Travelodge, with plans to increase its London rooms total from 5,200 to over 7,000 bedrooms and Premier Inn, with expansion plans that should see the creation of about 1,000 hotel jobs in London by summer 2012.
How to find an Olympic job
To get in on the Olympic jobs action, a good strategy is to start with someone like Caterer.com! You can browse by keyword and location searches to identify opportunities. Also, remember to keep an eye on the London 2012 website, to keep abreast of what’s happening and to pick up on news about hospitality jobs and training.
For those looking for a career change, London 2012 may be the ideal time to get a taste of hospitality work because not only is LOCOG (the London Organising Committee for the Olympics Games) encouraging secondment opportunities, but up to 70,000 volunteers are going to be required during the Games. Although unpaid, volunteers will receive skills development that could lead to a career in hospitality.
While some jobs will need relevant experience, others will be suitable for entry level staff and of course, there are many generic transferable skills that may help you secure hospitality work, such as
- Working well in a team
- Being passionate about customer satisfaction
- An organised approach
- Health and safety awareness
The Olympic 2012 legacy – jobs for the future
Although the Games only last for six weeks, the plan is that they will contribute to sustainable job outcomes and skills development for the future, so at the close, an official outplacement programme will be available to help employees use their new skills and experience to move into other jobs.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has estimated that UK tourism revenue could be boosted by up to £2.3 billion as a result of the 2012 Olympics, so there is every expectation of an increase in hospitality recruitment after the Games.
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