The government is considering whether to make the hiring of apprentices compulsory on London Olympics projects.

Sport secretary Tessa Jowell told a committee of MPs this week that the culture department would consider the question. She said: “It is not compulsory at the moment, and this would increase the cost of contracts. Nevertheless it is something we’ll look at because we are clear about the benefits of apprenticeships.

She also refused to rule out the possibility that the government may end up paying for the £1bn Olympic village and the £400m media centre. Lend Lease, the developer of the athletes’ village, is unable to raise funds because of the credit crunch.

The news came as David Ross, the London mayor’s main adviser on the Olympics’ legacy, resigned after he became embroiled in a share scandal.

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