I had the pleasure of working on the London 2012 Olympics & Paralympics. Ten years ago the Opening Ceremony had already taken place and we were getting ready for day one of competition.
I started my London 2012 journey six years out from the Games, working for the Organising Committee with responsibility for recruitment and our local community employment and skills strategy. A key strategy was to support economic legacy by ensuring that we prioritised local residents in the five host boroughs of London for Games employment opportunities - Newham, Hackney, Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets and Greenwich.
For us, community engagement was an important lever to ensure that communities in those host boroughs understood the opportunities that we had available. We worked in partnership with the East London Citizens Group (TELCO) - we took the job opportunities to them and they did a terrific job to bring their communities to our job fairs - often in mosques, churches, temples and community centres.
Did we deliver against our commitments to skills and employment legacy? I'd like to think so, thousands of local residents who had never worked previously had the incredible, life affirming experience of working on the Games, enabling them to take away valuable skills and experiences.
A significant lesson learnt was the importance of community engagement in developing the London 2012 organisation. At AMS we work tirelessly to ensure that our workforce reflects the different global community groups that we operate in. We support our communities in a number of ways - eg. job fairs, schools / college work experience programmes, supporting local community charities, responding to disasters etc. It's a strategy that we will continually evolve and develop, with community engagement being a key pillar of our DEI and citizenship strategy.
THE OLYMPIC LEGACY HAS PROVED TO BE BITTERSWEET, BUT STILL SHOWS THE POWER OF COMMUNITIES