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- but Olympic job prospects 'are not as good as the government thinks'

Olympic bosses have to be more realistic about the impact of the London 2012 Games and focus more on regeneration, according to an independent report.

The games will not be the gold rush expected by most of the general public, the report goes on.

The Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) has questioned whether the 2012 Games will deliver everything Olympic bosses have claimed it will, and has stated that employment figures, in particular, need to be better managed.

Dermot Finch, director of the IPPR centre for cities, said: 'We need to be more realistic about the benefits of 2012.

'The government is right that the games will have a positive impact, as will the wider regeneration of the Lower Lea Valley. But we need to be more careful to manage people's expectations.

'Economic gains will be relatively small and focused on London, and not all the new jobs will go to the locals. Social gains could be much bigger.'

He added: 'Olympic decision-makers should use the Olympics to accelerate long-term regeneration in east London and boost civic pride across the UK - rather than trying for a short-term jobs gold rush.'

The government claims the net impact of the 2012 Games will deliver around 8,000 jobs in east London, 39,000 jobs in Greater London, and 8,000 jobs outside London.

The report argues that the ODA, LDA and local partners should focus on connecting local employment and training programmes to longer-term regeneration opportunities.

by Richard Vaughan

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