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In Focus: Race for Construction Jobs on 2012 Olympics about to begin

The 2012 Olympics draw ever closer, with the promise of thousands of construction jobs becoming available; quantity surveyors, project managers, site managers, engineers, planners and just about any other professional position you can think of. With works starting to gain speed on the Olympic site, Maxim Recruitment is receiving more and more calls from clients and candidates alike as the construction industry's excitement grows. So what exactly is happening? In this article I will discuss what is happening with the Olympic project, what this means to you as a professional member of the UK's construction industry and how Maxim can help you get in on the action.

The Olympic construction story so far...

Up to this moment, the majority of the ongoing works have involved the preparation of the Olympic site and surrounding infrastructure. A large part of this work has been awarded to J Murphy and Son, who have been contracted to move all power cables into tunnels under the site and dismantle their numerous pylons. The rest of the activity is in the planning and pre-contract stages of development, the offices of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) being a hive of activity as land acquisition and design & planning works progress in earnest.

So what's happening now?

Recently announced is the Olympic Delivery Authority's (ODA) choice on who takes the role of Olympic delivery partner. The much coveted role has been awarded to the CLM consortium, which consists of Laing O'Rourke, CH2M, Mace and Davis Langdon. The other three consortia to contend for the position were:

  • The Legacy consortium, comprising of Bovis Lend Lease, Capita Symonds and KBR.
  • Bechtel, the colossal American contractor was the only single company to enter.
  • The G3 consortium, comprising of Amec, Balfour Beatty, Jacobs, Gleeds and Faithful & Gould.

The ODA's decision has taken many within the industry by surprise, as American mega-corporation Bechtel has been the favourite since the start of the race. The members of the CLM consortium have their work cut out for them now, as the Olympic delivery partner role involves taking overall responsibility for the whole £5.2 billion Olympic project.

Soon to begin now are numerous land preparation works to make ready for the actual construction to begin in mid 2008. Land preparation works are due to start on no less than 6 parts of the Olympic site between late 2006 and mid 2007. Another hotspot of activity on the near horizon is the decision on who exactly will build what. Many of the most prestigious parts of the Olympic park will be hotly contested, with many major players preparing their bids for the contest to come.

But what does all this mean for you?

Let's start with the ongoing preparatory works. J Murphy and Son along with other contractors are performing various works, including tunnelling underneath the whole site, laying new power cabling through them and demolition of existing pylons. These works are due for completion in early 2009 meaning job opportunities exist for electrical engineers, quantity surveyors, project managers and site managers to get in on the action. The extensive planning and design also creates job opportunities for staff such as planners, planning or design engineers and quantity surveyors experienced in pre-contract work.

The ODA's choice of Olympic delivery partner, the CLM consortium is sure to have countless job opportunities for construction professionals become available. It's no secret that in taking up the reins of the Olympic project, they will be placed under great strain for resources; material, financial and human. The increase in demand for skilled staff will be inevitable, the Managing Director of Maxim Recruitment, Steve Thomas commented,

"I'm really excited that the contest for the delivery partner role is finally resolved. It should create fantastic job opportunities for all sorts of people; quantity surveyors, project managers, civil engineers, planners and so on. It looks like a really exciting time for the construction industry is about to start."

The sheer scale of the project looks set to create job opportunities in all sectors of the industry too. Civil engineering oriented professionals will be hard at work throughout the project, on works including the construction of new roads, bridges and railways, of particular interest being the works on Stratford International and the new "Javelin" high speed rail link. The tunnelling and power cabling works will also be of interest to civils oriented job seekers.

There are equally lucrative opportunities going to be available in the future for those experienced on the build side of the industry, with the major building works due to begin in mid 2008. Construction of the Olympic stadium and the Aquatics centre due to begin first, being followed soon after by works on the Velopark, International broadcast and media centre, the Olympic village and various other structures besides. It was recently confirmed that Laing O'Rourke has pulled out of the running for constructing the Olympic stadium, apparently due to concerns over the complications of stadium building that have become apparent throughout the Wembley Stadium project, but also quite possible is a few skeletons in the closet from Laing Construction's difficulties constructing Cardiff's Millennium Stadium after which they were bought out by Ray O'Rourke for £1. This leaves only one favourite UK bidder for the stadium, Sir Robert McAlpine, as a good contender. Excellent job opportunities will avail themselves within this company if they proceed to win the contract.

Aside from the Olympics, the prestige and glamour of this huge project are set to create great opportunities elsewhere too! With professional staff scrambling to get in on the Olympic project, a shortfall is certain to be created elsewhere. With such a demand everywhere, non-Olympic projects need other incentives to draw in skilled staff, meaning better packages and salary are a strong likelihood for anyone who plays their cards right.

How can you get in on the action?

That's the easy part! Simply get in touch with one of Maxim Recruitment's experienced recruitment consultants for your chance to join one of the largest projects the UK has ever seen. We have developed close business relations with many of the major players bidding for the Olympics, having helped fulfil their professional staffing needs for years. You can contact us by both phone and email, so give us a call on 0870 243 0446 if you have any other questions, alternatively just send us your CV by email and see what we can do for you!

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