Olympics Legacy Minister visits Stratford

Students at a training programme in Stratford had a surprise visit from Olympics Legacy Minister Bob Neill.

He went to the Skills Place Newham, a joint initiative run by employment and training provider Seetec in partnership with Westfield Stratford City and Newham Workplace.

It provides sector based pre and post-employment training within industries such as retail, hospitality and leisure. The Skills Place is a one-stop shop for advice, career development, apprenticeships and employment and just one of the ways in which Westfield and partners including, the London Legacy Development Corporation, are working with businesses to ensure a lasting legacy for the local community after the Olympic Games.

The Skills Place Newham focuses on the core skills needed within specific industries and responds to the needs of employers. The courses are designed to help people to build their skills towards finding sustainable employment.

In the last year over 5,000 local residents have received training from Newham and the Skills Place, of which over 3,000 have subsequently been employed in Westfield Stratford City. The centre has become a major employer of local people in east London.

Bob Neill said: “Skills Place is doing a fantastic job in helping local people gain meaningful employment. The people I have met today are a real testament to how the Olympic Games and the subsequent regeneration, is providing opportunities for the people of Newham which will last long after the Games have finished.”

John Burton, Director, Westfield Stratford City, said: “The Skills Place Newham demonstrates how working in partnership and sharing a commitment to create genuine social change can achieve tangible results for the local community. With more than 3,000 local people employed at Westfield Stratford City via the facilities provided at the Skills Place Newham, we are pleased that the Minister chose to visit (us) to see what can be achieved when big business takes its community responsibility seriously.”