Exclusive: Capturing the competitive advantage a key Olympic legacy for business

The key job creation implications directly linked to the 2012 London Olympic Games have already been and gone – but the city and indeed the UK as a whole still has a chance to capitalise on growth opportunities in a more indirect manner.

Fri, 13 Jul 2012
The key job creation implications directly linked to the 2012 London Olympic Games have already been and gone – but the city and indeed the UK as a whole still has a chance to capitalise on growth opportunities in a more indirect manner.

This is the view of Professor Ferran Brunet from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, who has written extensively on pre- and post-Olympic economic impacts on host cities, starting from 1992, when it was held in Barcelona itself.He tells Recruiter: “The big impact on the labour market in London has already occurred, because the construction work is, I hope, all finished and all the people who will be looking after the visitors are in place, so after the Games there will be a large reduction in the volume of employment as there will be no more construction and the direct employment by the organisation disappears.”

There are, he notes, likely to be a small number of jobs, for around 100 people perhaps, who will continue to be employed by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) for maybe a year, but they are so few that “they are not of statistical importance”.

There is then the knock-on effect of the Games. For Barcelona, his estimation was that the Games created 20,000 jobs, of which 1,400 were in the public sector. “I believe that for London there will probably be similar figures,” he says, although this is a proportionally smaller legacy, he notes, “because London was an already ‘completed’ city in this sense in inverted commas, while Barcelona was not – evidently the impact of the Olympic project was bigger relatively in Barcelona, because it could be [bigger]”.

Beyond this, there is what Brunet calls “the intangible things, such as the increase in competitiveness”. Again, he notes that while for Barcelona, the Games were a question of “being on the map”, London and the UK as a whole are already more advanced than the 1992 hosts were.

This means it becomes a question “not of the improving of its position, but the maintaining of it… London has always been on the map”. He concludes: “I believe that you have done it very well [in London].”

Brunet was speaking to Recruiter for the Olympic Profile special feature, in the new, July edition, out this week, and available online. See: 'Delivering London 2012's job legacy’ (p24) and ‘Olympic profile: Reading and waiting’ (p28).

He was also speaking before yesterday’s news that security firm G4S, a key supplier to the Games, was said to be experiencing problems fulfilling its contract, which as recruiter.co.uk reported, prompted questions in the House of Parliament.

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