A SINGLE MUM who starred in council adverts promoting job opportunities provided by the Olympics is still unemployed two years later.

Annika Allen, 26, of Montague Road in Leytonstone, appeared on hundreds of the leaflets, posters and buses across the borough back in 2008, but has failed to get suitable work on the 2012 site - despite completing seven different training courses.

Ms Allen, who was pictured surrounded by the slogan 'I Can't Wait to Get Started', was offered one post which demanded a 50-hour week, but was unable to take it up because of her commitments caring for her two young daughters.

She said: “It has made me feel a bit down and it is quite sad.

“I first got involved when someone handed me a leaflet about construction work for women. I signed up to do some training and then they asked me to be in the adverts, which was exciting.

“I thought it would be just a few leaflets so it was quite a surprise when I saw myself on buses and started getting loads of telephone calls from friends and family who'd seen me.

“But then I kept on doing more and more training but I wasn't getting anywhere. I really wanted to work, and I still want to, but I just couldn't get a job. It's been very frustrating.”

Ms Allen, who received free training in a variety of construction disciplines including how to drive an agricultural tractor, said she was not angry at the authorities for her status but felt the adverts may have got people's hopes up.

She said: “I'm still glad that the Olympics is coming here and I'm grateful for my training, but it is very disappointing what has happened. But I'm still hopeful and I haven't given up trying to get a job.”

A spokesman for the Olympic Delivery Authority said: “While we can't go into specific details about individuals we make extensive efforts to help local people, particularly women, get training and then employment opportunities on the Olympic park, and will continue to do so.

“So far we have over 1,000 local people that have got work on the Olympic park through our job brokerage service run with the Olympic boroughs. Of these people over 200 are women.”

With thanks to BBC London, which is following Ms Allen's experiences in the run-up to the Olympics as part of its 2012 Lives series.

Click here to follow the Waltham Forest Guardian on Twitter