Vancouver 2010 – A Human Legacy
The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games will leave more than just a physical legacy of stadiums and infrastructure to British Columbia and Canada once the Games are over. With a Games-time workforce of approximately 55,000, made up of 1,400 paid staff, 3,500 temporary staff, 25,000 volunteers, 10,000 contractors and 15,000 ceremony participants, these Games will leave an enormous human legacy to the region.
Staff, Students and Secondees
Hosting a Games allows a host nation to develop its expertise in major event management. The Canadian staff at the Vancouver 2010 Organising Committee (VANOC) will now be able to form a workforce pool with unique experience and skills that will undoubtedly help to draw other major sporting and non-sporting events to the country. In addition to its full time staff, VANOC has also called upon students from local universities and secondees from public and private partners to complete its short-term workforce needs. As well as having a great time working at the Games, these people will be able to build upon their experience when they return to their current jobs and studies, giving them and their organisations a competitive edge in the market place.
Fab Shop and Flowers
The Vancouver Games have also helped to integrate people back into the workforce. The Fabrication Shop, for example, was created by VANOC to help build many of the wooden structures that would be needed during the Games. In addition, it was used to help disadvantaged young people find jobs by providing them with training and a qualification. A similar story can be told around the flowers that are presented to the athletes in the venues. These bouquets were all produced by a company whose workers are mainly coming out of difficult situations, such as prison terms or off the streets. These women are given training and hope that something better lies out there for them.
Volunteers are a crucial part of any Games, and Vancouver is no different. Their charming smiles and “can-do” attitude make all the difference to the athletes and visitors from out of town. They are a city and country’s best ambassadors. With so many volunteers needed for the Games, it’s also a fantastic legacy, as the volunteer pool can often be encouraged to participate again in future events in the city. The volunteers also get the experience and training that go with their position and allow them to take that experience back into their everyday lives, thus improving their impact on the local economy and their employability.