Union says 90% of apprentice training on the Olympic will not be to the recommended levels

Ucatt fears training on the Olympics will fall below government recommendations, which could lead to a deskilling of the construction industry.

It said 90% of training on the Olympics will be to NVQ Level 2, which is equivalent of four GCSEs at grades A-C. The Leitch Review into skills and the latest government document on apprenticeships call for more apprenticeships to be NVQ Level 3, which is the equivalent of two A-Levels.

Around 1,000 young people will be trained on the site and Ucatt said those at Level 2 might have to take lower paid jobs after the games. It said young people at Level 2 could be paid as little as £80 a week, whereas a more qualified apprentice could expect to be paid at least £238 a week after two years of study.

Alan Ritchie, Ucatt general secretary, said: “The realisation that the Olympic Authority tried to sneak out the fact that the vast majority will only be offered to NVQ Level 2 is vastly disappointing. This country is crying out for young skilled construction workers. The Olympics were a golden opportunity to create a skills legacy. That opportunity is in danger of being missed.”

ODA Chairman John Armitt said: “The areas around the Olympic site in east London suffer from high levels of unemployment and the 2012 Games can act as a catalyst to help change this. That is why our strategy is focused on getting people onto the first level of training and into work.

“In addition, our forecasts show that the skill requirements for the project will mainly be in civil engineering and construction skills rather than the traditional building craft skills, though we will be encouraging employers to offer training at all NVQ levels.”

It is estimated the industry needs 87,000 new entrants every year. Last year more than 50,000 applied for a apprenticeship through Constructionskills and just 7,500 were placed.