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Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games workers start search for new employment

Topics: - Workforce Trends
Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The embers from the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games are barely cold (and the Paralympic Games have yet to begin) but already members of the Games workforce must start the search for new employment. What impact this will have on BC's unemployment/employment rate is difficult to say. Here's some key figures about three of the largest Games related employers.

Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee ("VANOC")

VANOC's website states that by Games time, it had anticipated a total workforce of more than 55,000, which was to include: a) 1,400 paid staff; b) 3,500 temporary staff; c) 25,000 volunteers; d) 10,000 contractors; and e) 15,000 ceremony participants

In this article in today's Vancouver Sun, Jeff Lee reports that:

  • hours after the closing ceremony, VANOC released of 300 of its 1,500 full-time employees.
  • by the end of March 2010, VANOC will have released another 1,200 or so
  • by the end of June, VANOC will have just five employees left, all of whom will be working in the finance department.
  • approximately 1,200 employees are eligible to receive a payment from VANOC's $33-million retention program, which was set up several years ago to encourage staff to say through to the end of the Games. The pay scales are based on each individual's job responsibilities and length of employment.

Contemporary Security Canada ("CSC")

CSC was another large Games (and Paralympic Games) employer, as it won the almost $100 million contract to supply approximately 5,000 security screeners for the venues. According to the company:

  • as of November 2009, it had already received more than 11,000 applications,
  • 3,000 of the employees it had hired as of November 2009 were from BC, while 1,500 were from outside the province, from as far away as Ottawa,
  • employees were hired for a period of four weeks to three months,
  • screeners, X-ray machine operators and supervisors are paid $16 to $30 an hour,
    depending on the job. A $2.50-an-hour bonus is to be paid to employees who complete all their shifts for the duration of their employment.


Sodexo won the contract to provide the catering and housekeeping services for the Athletes Villages in Vancouver and Whistler. According to media reports before the Games began, Sodexo was:

  • looking to hire 900 employees to work in the villages, and
  • predicting that 90% of the positions would be filled from within BC.

(Note: in this previous post I wrote about the jobs that had been created in BC and Canada from 2003 to 2008 as a result of Vancouver hosting the Games).