London 2012 legacy and the Bridging the gap project

The Bridging the Gap (BtG) Project was formed back in 2008 as a unique partnership between the Education Sector and Industry, with NHC leading on the further education element. The initiative was backed by the Home Office and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games.

The project brought together 95 Colleges and Universities across Great Britain, to provide thousands of appropriately trained and qualified Security, Stewarding, Hospitality and Volunteer staff for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games time. After the success of London 2012, Bridging the Gap is looking to provide a lasting legacy, both nationally and internationally.

In October 2012, BtG presented at an Educational Conference in Rio de Janeiro and secured funding from the Brazilian Ministry of Education to run a Games Training Pilot Programme for Rio 2014 & 2016.

BtG have linked with CEFET/RJ, the largest vocational college in Rio (next to the Maracana Stadium) and have started training eleven pilot students in Stewarding, English Language and Work experience. This training will be conducted in Rio and in London, where they will gain experience working at the Maracana Stadium and at Wembley Stadium.

The students from Rio on the BtG pilot programme stewarded, performed reception duties and hosted a stand at the Podium and British Council's London 2012 Legacy Conference at the University of Westminster this week. Speakers at the conference included representatives from Rio 2016, Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic @ paralympic Games, Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, UK Sport and the Rugby League World cup 2013. The Conference Chair, Professor Geoff Petts, Vice Chancellor of the Uni of Westminster, publically praised the BtG project for its work at London 2012 and for its legacy work with Rio, which is already producing high quality stewards.

It is proposed that these pilot students are the first of thousands of trained and qualified Stewards and Volunteers that may be made available for Rio 2014 and 2016. BtG has a network of colleges throughout Brazil and is looking to run a similar Pilot programme in Recife, Pernambuco, in the New Year.

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