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Google and Amazon in talks over jobs for young techies in Islington and Hackney

07:10 22 October 2012

Old Street roundabout could look like this if proposals to redevelop it go ahead

Old Street roundabout could look like this if proposals to redevelop it go ahead

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Technology giants Google and Amazon have been in discussions with Islington Council about hiring young people from the borough.

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Council leader Catherine West met with the companies based in the Old Street area, known as Tech City, last week and said the plan was to provide youngsters with technology apprenticeships

Althought in an “embryonic stage”, she said: “What we are hoping is that young people from schools and colleges can be part of Tech City. We want them to have some stake in it, as there is a real risk for young people around lost lives.

“We are hoping we can link with Google and Amazon over entry-level jobs.

“We have so many young people who are able in technology and science, such as pupils at Central Foundation Boys’ School, which is on the borders of Islington and Hackney.”

Hackney Council was involved in setting up an apprenticeship programme earlier this year.

In February, it invited the Duke of York, along with technology firms, to an event at Hackney Community College to discuss how local people could provide IT skills.

And last month, specialist Hackney University Technical College opened in Falkirk Street, Hoxton, aiming to give young people a head start in the digital world.

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Hackney Council cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Hackney’s objective is to ensure that Tech City creates training and employment opportunities for our local communities and particularly young people. Local businesses collaborating with our schools and colleges and the new Hackney UTC that specialises in digital and health technologies can give local young people the skills they need to be part of, and succeed in, the creative workplaces that are Tech City.”

There are also plans to transform the Old Street roundabout which Cllr West likened to the Tate Modern’s turbine hall.

The proposals, due to be submitted for planning permission early next year, also include creating a tech library blocking off one arm of the roundabout to make it “pedestrian-friendly” – similar to Trafalgar Square.

The roundabout is often called “silicon roundabout” due to the number of web businesses around it like in California’s Silicon Valley.

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