Fast-track training scheme set up by consortium of ECA and other bodies to raise Britons' skills to match those of departing Poles

Construction of Olympic venues is at risk because of an exodus of skilled Polish workers and a lack of qualified UK workers to replace them, industry figures have warned.

A fast-track training scheme is being implemented to teach construction skills, including electrical contracting, to Britons to remedy the shortage.

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and the London Development Agency (LDA) are to spend £20m – 23% of their training budget for London 2012 – together with other organisations on raising the skill level of the UK workforce to meet Olympic building needs.

Construction of the Olympic Stadium and other venues is threatened by a lack of skilled workers.

Iain Macdonald, head of education and training at the ECA, told The Times Britain had become too dependent on a labour force that was now rapidly leaving for more prosperous countries.

“You can’t rely on migrant labour. The ECA’s position is, you should have the capacity to generate the skills from the indigenous population.”

However, Andrew Teacher, spokesman for the British Property Federation, told the newspaper that it was likely British builders who had been laid off because of the economic downturn would move over to fill the skills gap in public building jobs.

Migrants from other parts of eastern Europe are reported to be taking the place of the Poles, but industry opinion is, they are not as well trained.