Legacy development chief David Goldstone on the value of apprentices


- Credit: Archant

his time last year we were putting the finishing touches to the south of the park as we prepared to open.

This was a huge transformation project and it was delivered on time and just 18 months from the closing of the Paralympics. The park has quickly become a favourite for residents and it is hard to remember what was there before.

It is now a home for top class sport, community events as well as simply a great place to walk and relax. Alongside this we are delivering on our other commitments for example providing jobs for local people. Working with Newham Workplace we have helped ensure jobs go to local residents with two thirds of staff working in venues on the park coming from the local area. We work with schools to ensure children are aware of career opportunities and earlier this month I was privileged to attend our annual apprentice awards at City Hall. The apprentice programme is an important part of our work giving young people from the local area the opportunity to get the skills they need to succeed. In the last three years we have employed more than 110 apprentices. All venues have apprentice programmes in a range of roles. This year’s winner of apprentice of the year, Stephen Condon, works at the Copper Box Arena and has already been promoted to a duty manager role. Seeing the positive way in which these young people have grasped the opportunities is inspiring.

As we move forward with more housing, the stadium opening, and the new university and cultural districts, there will be more employment opportunities and our partners are excited by the prospect.

The word legacy is often overused but we can honestly say the programme we have established with the support of the venues and Newham Council is delivering a tangible legacy of skilled young people. I look forward to next year’s event and celebrating more apprentices because delivering jobs and apprenticeships is central to everything we do. More from David Goldstone

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