London 2012: ideas for your career

Thousands of people from many different jobs and professions have worked together to deliver the London 2012 Olympic Games.  As the competition gets under way, we look at some of the roles outside the world of sport responsible for creating a world-class event.

Preparing the venues

Preparations to build the venues started back in 2005, when London was awarded the Games.  At the Olympic Park, specialist demolition teams were brought in to clear the site, remove industrial buildings and carry out processes such as soil washing. The whole park area has been completely redeveloped; as well building the competition venues, accommodation for the Athletes in the Olympic Village and facilities for the media have also been created.

More than 46,000 people were employed on the site during the construction of the main venues and infrastructure, including Plumbers, Plasterers, Electricians, Engineers, Crane Drivers, Fork Lift Truck Operators, Architects, and Surveyors.  Meet some of the people who worked on the project here.

Beyond the actual buildings, Landscape Architects were responsible for the design and layout of the Park itself, from choosing what trees and bulbs to plant in the green areas, to selecting materials for pathways and car parks.

Keeping London moving

Ensuring millions of extra visitors can get around the capital, and that London continues to function on a day-to-day level, has brought together a range of people in the fields of transport and logistics.  From Transport Planners responsible for the phasing of traffic lights, the creation of special Olympic Road Lanes, or putting in place particular entrance and exit routes to stations, through to  local authorities and businesses agreeing changes to delivery hours, thousands of people are working to keep London moving.

Supplying the Games

There’s also the mammoth task of getting supplies, competitors’ luggage and equipment to the Olympic Park and venues, involving hundreds of drivers, trucks and crews. “The scale of what we’re going to be doing is immense,” explains Alan Williams, UPS Director of Sponsorship and Operations who is responsible for delivering over a million items direct to the Park.  This includes 26,000 tennis ball, 28 boats, and 16 boxing rings, “all the sort of things which always make the Olympics happen but nobody really understands how they get there,”  he says, right down to beds, wardrobes and clothes hangers for the Athletes’ Village.

Staging the Games

Around 70,000 volunteers will work in roles such as Welcome Desk Staff, Ticket Checkers, Costume Assistants, Drivers and Event Stewards to welcome visitors to London.  Thousands more will be employed to provide operational services such as Catering, Cleaning and Waste Management, Security and Retail.

Teams of Event Organisers are responsible for ensuring the events run smoothly.  At the Games they will see the results of years of planning and preparation, including  liaising with relevant sporting bodies, local authorities and emergency services.

The Cultural Olympiad

The London 2012 Festival features over 12,000 events and performances across the UK in celebration of the Games, bringing together Actors, Musicians, Artists, Comedians, Writers and Dancers.

After the Games

After the Games, the Park will be transformed into the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, due to open to the public from July 2013.  There will be around 2,500 temporary construction jobs on the site during the peak of transformation works and up to 8,000 permanent jobs on the Park by 2030.


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