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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 July 2005, 04:31 GMT 05:31 UK
Job optimism follows Olympic win
Computer generated image of London's proposed Olympic riverside park
The Olympic Games is expected to boost the UK's construction industry
British builders will use the 2012 Olympic Games to showcase their abilities, trade groups have predicted.

The Games could create more than 150,000 new jobs, with many in the building trade, according to experts.

But skills shortages in the construction industry could pose a "significant problem", the government has been warned.

Construction shares jumped in London after the capital won the race to host the 2012 Olympiad.

The gainers included home-builder Persimmon, up 2.2%, Balfour Beatty, which added 5.2%, and Costain Group, which saw a 3.9% gain.

We will have the right people, with the right skills in the right place to meet the construction demands of the Olympics
Sheila Hoile
CITB-Construction Skills

Billions of pounds will be spent preparing London for the Olympics, one of the world's biggest sporting events.

Large sums will be spent on building new sporting arenas, housing and travel links.

But the National Federation of Builders, which represents construction firms across the UK, said the government needed to tackle skills shortages urgently.

The federation's chief executive, Barry Stephens, said: "The risk is that we fail to get the necessary influx of new skills into the industry to cope with increased demand.

'We need more builders'

"The industry already needs an extra 430,000 new recruits over the next four years."

Sheila Hoile, of the industry skills council, CITB-Construction Skills, said: "The British construction industry is the best in the world."

She said: "Whether it is the workers in the industry or the quality of work they produce, we cannot be beaten.

"We now have a chance to prove this once again on a global stage."

"We will have the right people, with the right skills in the right place to meet the construction demands of the Olympics," she added.

The Olympic site is earmarked for the Thames Gateway, and there are plans to build 4,000 four-bedroom homes which will be used as an Olympic Village by competitors.

Dino Patel, of the London Housing Federation, described the Olympic decision as "a terrific boost for re-generation and development in the Thames Gateway and beyond".

London 'vision'

He said it "virtually guarantees better transport links and other infrastructure for the Gateway and brings the vision of a new city in east London one step closer to reality."

According to early estimates, 728m will be spent on land purchases and construction. Meanwhile, the Royal Institute of British Architects urged Britain to use the 2012 games as a "catalyst" for the regeneration of rundown areas of the capital.

London defeated Paris at the International Olympic Committee vote in Singapore, after bids from Moscow, New York and Madrid had been eliminated.

Paris had been favourites throughout the campaign.

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