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ODA looks to T5 to learn the key lessons of managing big projects

Senior figures at the Olympic Delivery Authority are continuing to meet their counterparts at BAA to pick up tips on how to manage major projects following the completion of T5 at Heathrow.

BAA’s capital projects director Andrew Wolstenholme met up with the Olympic Delivery Authority’s chief executive David Higgins earlier this month to speak about managing risk and looking after thousands of contracted staff.

At its peak T5 employed 10,000 site staff - a figure that will be eclipsed by the 15,000 that will be needed at the Olympic site and neighbouring Stratford development at its peak.

But the Olympics will need to deliver double the infrastructure of T5 in half the time.

Mr Wolstenholme said: “Everyone recognises that we have learnt lots of lessons and that these are transferable. T5 and the Olympics also happen to share some of the same supply chain. They will be able to understand how we managed the people and how to develop a safety culture.”

T5 contractors Laing O’Rourke and Mace are part of 2012 delivery team CLM, which is overseeing building of the Games’ venues and infrastructure.

The ODA’s workforce has already climbed above the 2,000 mark and this week it said one fifth of the current workforce of 2,275 were local residents. It added that one in 10 were previously unemployed.
ODA director of construction Howard Shiplee said its aim of leaving an employment and skills legacy would benefit not just the 2012 Games but the construction industry as a whole.

He said: “Meeting current demand and training, recruiting and developing workers for the future is a challenge for the whole of UK construction. Although London 2012 should not be seen as a panacea, it can act as a beacon.”

The ODA has also launched a jobs brokerage service with Jobcentre Plus and London 2012 host boroughs that will match candidates living locally and elsewhere in the UK with jobs at the site.

A plant training centre, with equipment supplied by JCB, is also being opened which is being run by the National Construction College.

Figures for olympic park workers

Total 2,275

Number resident in 2012 boroughs 408

Resident in London 1,167

Previously unemployed 237

Previously unemployed (five host boroughs) 86

Operatives/craft 1,394

Professional/ technical/admin 524

Trainees/apprenticeships 62

Source: ODA