London Mayor Ken Livingstone has announced an £11 million grants package which it is claimed will help more than 14,000 Londoners and 1500 businesses with a range of skills training, work placements and employment advice.
The Opportunities Fund (‘Engaging in London 2012’) is a three year partnership between the Mayor and the London Development Agency and will involve a wide range of organisations including the Peabody Trust, City Gateway, Princes Trust, Centrepoint and Sports Coaches UK.
Launching the Fund the Mr Livinsgtone said “the 2012 Games is a once in a generation opportunity for London to transform communities across the capital which have suffered from decades of under investment and neglect.”
The Mayor claimed the Fund would ensure “groups who suffer from exclusion, such as lone parents, Black and Ethnic Minority communities and disabled Londoners, will get the advice and training they need to find work.”
However the One London Party attacked the Mayor “for wasting money on diversionary skills projects” instead of ensuring the Olympics provide a lasting employment.
Party Leader Damian Hockney said he had recently predicted the Olympics would provide “plenty of jobs for burger-flippers, security guards and car parking attendants for the three weeks the Games last” but that anyone looking for permanent employment as a result of the Olympics would “be disappointed”.
Mr Hockney said today’s announcement “has only strengthened my conviction that there will be no lasting legacy for local unemployed people.”