North Herts students miss out on Olympic Games contracts due to G4S problems

STUDENTS from North Herts will be working at the Olympic games for troubled security contractors G4S, but many others have been forced to miss out because of the firm’s problems.

The North Hertfordshire College (NHC) students, who will join others from more than 70 colleges across the country, have already worked for the firm for a number of major events, including Wimbledon and Glastonbury.

But, because of the famous problems that G4S has had this year, many students were left waiting for confirmation of Olympic employment for so long, that they were forced to take other jobs.

Fintan Donohue, college principal, said: “Students at the college have over a period of several years completed appropriate levels of security qualifications to enable them to work largely part-time in the security industry while earning wages that can support them while in full-time study.

“Many of these students have trained and developed with the hope and expectation of being employed over the summertime at the Olympic Games as well as other venues.

“The contract for employment at the Olympic Games is managed by G4S, and it is well documented that the company has found difficulty in implementing an effective recruitment and communication practise on such a large scale. This has led to considerable delay for some students in receiving confirmation of that employment and some have sought other opportunities in the meantime.”

But Mr Donohue did say that, despite the problems, many students would still be working at the event.

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“We are delighted to say, however, that significant numbers of students, including students from NHC, are beginning to find their way into employment at the Olympics with G4S,” he added.

“This helps the students to build their employment profile and, of course, to be engaged in the most significant event in the UK this century.”

Meanwhile, plans to outsource backroom operations in the Herts, Beds and Cambs police forces to G4S has been put in doubt.

The forces raised concerns over plans to enter into a contract at a joint working group on Monday.

A joint statement said: “The meeting took place against the backdrop of recent events relating to the Olympics, with concerns being raised regarding G4S’s ability to deliver.

“Having considered the concerns raised by the Chief Constables, the group have commissioned further work to explore the ability of the contract and contractor to meet the specific needs of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire.”

An outcome will be reported to the group in mid-August.