IT sector given temporary shot in arm from Olympics job boost

The Olympic Games could create up to 5,000 jobs in the IT and telecoms sector, with £250 million potentially on offer for wages.

According to a report from IT recruitment agency Greythorn, the Olympics will provide significantly greater opportunities for the UK because of the “unprecedented level of technology services” required to cope with the 2012 Games

As well as the benefits for other job sectors such as construction, a huge operation will be required to put in place a technologically sound infrastructure that is able to support the media presence, as well as coping with cyber security measures.

“The IT and telecoms infrastructure required to host the Olympics will leave a significant high-tech footprint on the UK labour market,” said Greythorn MD Paul Winchester, stating that elements such as the introduction such as emergency service lines and expansion of WiFi coverage will mean significant short term job increases.

Also with mobile-operator-turned-international-spy-ring Huawei offering to help put in place a mobile network on London’s dilapidated Underground there will be plenty to keep an eye on.

Greythorn believes that this will all mean that the London games are set to have a greater legacy than previous Games in Sydney, Athens or Barcelona, with total permanent and temporary jobs expected to far exceed the 77,000 mark seen in Atlanta.

This is thought to be due to the stronger capacity of the private sector in London that will enable the continued economic momentum provided by the Games.

While many of the jobs created will of course be short term in nature because of the timescale of the events, Greythorn spokesman Tom Cartlidge told TechEye that there will be longer lasting jobs too.

“The Olympics will essentially bring large firms into the UK with investments that will create IT jobs, however we expect that this will continue into longer term contracts with companies once they have become established here,” Cartlidge said.

“The Olympics is likely to just be the start of investment.”

Although a downturn can be expected immediately after the games, some projects have been put into place that are designed to “promote economic activity after the Games”, with £28 million put forward by the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games programme to secure more long term jobs.

However there are inherent security risks in the recruitment of large numbers of new employees on such a high-profile, and potentially high-risk event, which employers need to be aware of.

“Employers are always concerned over recruitment safety and this is one of the reasons why longer term contracts are often preferable in such environments, as there are more risks with short term employees,” said Cartlidge.

“Long term contracts are important in this sense as they allow greater monitoring of employees with regard to security issues.”

“However the main reason for longer term contracts are certainly economic.”

Who exactly the jobs will go to is another question entirely.

Here’s the legacy of permanent job creation: