Apprentices in plastering and dry-lining will no longer be able to qualify in time to work on the 2012 site, thanks to delays in Learning and Skills Council funding for an Olympic training centre

In March, the London Development Agency applied to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) for a grant of more than £5m to build a specialist apprentice centre at Cathall Road, Walthamstow, with a capacity for 5,000 trainees. Construction was originally slated to begin in April or May.

But a series of budget cuts meant the LSC only announced funding for the site in September, and has yet to agree on a start date for construction.

Paul Jessop, the chief executive of the Federation of Plasterers and Drywall Contractors, claims that the centre has taken so long to be built, apprentices will not now get the chance to work on the Olympic sites as fully qualified labourers.

He said: “It’s a shame. Construction should have started already, but we still don’t know when the centre will be built.

“The understanding was that apprentices would get trained so they could work on the Olympics once they were qualified. But the apprenticeship takes two years. It will now be too late for them.”