London 2012: G4S recruits angry over Games hiring delays

People recruited by security company G4S to work during the Olympics have spoken of anger and disappointment over their treatment.

UK armed forces have been put on standby because G4S has not trained enough staff in time.

G4S recruits have described being screened and trained, then not hearing any more, while others have spoken of problems with helplines and websites.

The private security firm said its job was "unprecedented and very complex".

'Distraught and angry'

The company is being paid £300m to supply 10,000 guards for the Games, but the BBC understands it cannot now bring in that number.

Anger has been growing for weeks among those involved in G4S's recruitment process.

Nosa Eghobamien, 19, from Watford, has been told that she both has and has not got a job.

She was trained, then told her application had not been accepted, then told to collect her uniform, but earlier was told she is still being screened.

She said: "I was so excited to work there.

Recruits queuing
Recruits queued for their uniforms in Stratford on Tuesday

"It makes me upset and not want to watch the Olympics knowing I could have been working there."

Mike Curtis, of High Wycombe, said his daughter had also been left disappointed.

He said: "She initially undertook training and received a contract to be one of the security staff some time ago, but then received no further information until she received an email at short notice with details of a final training day."

She was unable to attend.

"No alternatives were provided and it was impossible to contact anyone at G4S," he added.

One parent told the BBC that many young people had taken time out of studying for A-levels to complete training for jobs they had not been given.

She said: "For a lot of young people this is their first employment. They are distraught and angry."

Darius Athill, from London, described a "long and laborious" process after applying for a job months ago.

"I went for an interview and was sent for security vetting. I was then told I had passed screening and vetting and that I would hear back from them.

"I was sent contracts and given a login to a website, which didn't work. After calling a helpline and waiting hours to get through they had no idea what I was talking about."

Chris, from London, said: "I was offered the role of team leader.

'Safe and secure'

"I have now been actively chasing G4S for two months and every time I have called I have been told I will be contacted shortly to arrange training and that I should be patient."

Labour's Tessa Jowell said on Wednesday there was "clearly a serious problem".

Drafting in extra troops could result in some summer leave being cancelled.

Joy Morris, from London, whose son has just returned from a tour of Afghanistan, said she was "disgusted" by the last-minute decision which meant many were having to cancel booked holidays.

She said: "We have known about this event for four years, how dare they leave it until now to do this."

G4S has said it has 4,000 staff working across 100 venues and more than 9,000 still being trained, vetted and accredited.

"We understand the government's decision to bring in additional resources and will work with Locog, the military and other agencies to deliver a safe and secure Games."