The Major Contractors Group is forming a steering group to stave off a skills shortage in the run-up to the Olympics

Andrew Wyllie, the chief executive of Costain, will chair the group, which will lay down a set of commitments to train workers in time for the construction of the 2012 Games.

Wyllie and his team will thrash out specific commitments at the group's first meeting, which will be held later this month.

Meanwhile, Olympic Delivery Authority chief executive David Higgins warned that there would be "no plan B" as he set out the next 10 milestones to deliver the venues and infrastructure for the 2012 Games.

The milestones are:

  • Announcing the ODA's programme timetable in July, including target start and completion dates for Games venues
  • Publication of the ODA's procurement strategy for stakeholder consultation in July
  • The appointment of the full ODA executive team by July
  • The conclusion of the compulsory purchase order inquiry hearings into the acquisition of land for the Olympic Park
  • The announcement of remediation and demolition contractors by the ODA and the London Development Agency (due as Building went to press)
  • The appointment in August of the delivery partner that will programme manage the Olympic Park's construction and infrastructure work
  • The first phase of community engagement in east London about the new site masterplan, which was announced last week
  • The publication of the Olympic transport plan for consultation in September
  • The start of the procurement process for the stadium this summer and progress on the procurement of the aquatics centre later this year
  • The submission of a new planning application for the Olympic Park site in January next year, following the publication of the new masterplan
Higgins said: "It is by putting the right building blocks in place at the start of the process, by having clarity and certainty through timely decision-making that you are best able to bear down on cost and delay. With the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games there can be no plan B. In the first six months we have hit our major milestones."

The row over the control of the £4bn Stratford City development in east London has ended with Westfield reportedly paying £140m to take sole ownership of the project.

The developer bought a 50% stake in the scheme from billionaire brothers, David and Simon Reuben and the remaining 25% from developer Stanhope.