Toby Youell writes for London Student, the newspaper for London universities, on the impact of G4S’s Olympic security fiasco on students:
Students at London’s universities have been left out of work, out of pocket, and concerned about safety at London 2012. Students who applied to work at G4S have had their documents misplaced; their training cancelled and have even been paid for work they haven’t done. More worryingly, students going through the application process have reported a “conveyor belt” attitude towards recruitment where nobody is too incompetent to fail.
Last Wednesday, G4S announced that it had only trained 4,000 of the 13,700 staff it had promised in its £284m contract to provide security for the Games. Nick Buckles, CEO G4S attributed this failure to the difficulties of recruiting the numbers of workers. On Saturday, he told BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme that, ‘they [security staff] have to have a right to work in the UK, and they have been interviewed, screened, and vetted to a high standard’.
This stands in contrast to findings by London students who witnessed a ‘no-fail’ policy at the interview stage. Applicants who were not able to read or write had their forms filled in for them. In the sensory test, applicants only had to tell the difference between water and lemon juice. Team leaders were selected randomly, regardless of their suitability for the role. A London student who preferred not to be named described the team leaders she encountered as ‘imbeciles’…
Full story here.