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Last Updated: Monday, 23 July 2007, 15:49 GMT 16:49 UK
Skills shortage 'threat' to 2012
Olympic Park
Initiative to improve local skills were in place, the government said
A shortage of skilled tradesmen could hinder progress on the Olympic building work, parliament has been warned.

LibDem MP Don Foster said there was a "huge skills shortage" in electricians, plumbers and the building trades.

"Britain is facing a huge skills shortage that could undermine the success of the Olympics," he told MPs.

The government said the Games would be ready on time and addressing the skills shortage would be one of the 2012 Olympic legacies in east London.

'Unscrupulous contractors'

"We know that we need thousands more plumbers, electricians, bricklayers and many others," said Mr Foster, LibDem culture spokesman.

"What progress is being made to get the necessary training in place to make sure we have sufficient people with the skills so we're not held to ransom by unscrupulous contractors?"

Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell said initiatives were under way to provide local people with low skills levels with new work opportunities.

She said the aim was to ensure a higher level of skills and enough people to make sure the Olympic site was constructed to budget on time.

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