28 February 2008
The use of "community benefit" clauses in public sector contracts has boosted jobs and training across Scotland.
Community benefit clauses require suppliers to provide guarantees of certain benefits, such as training and jobs, for the local area. In one pilot scheme with the Raploch Urban Regeneration Company (URC) where clauses were used, 225 jobs were created in the building of 900 new homes. John Hendry, chair of the Raploch URC board, said the use of the clauses in the regeneration project had been an "overwhelming success".
The clauses were piloted in the Community Benefits in Procurement Programme, which examined their impact in five locations across the country.
John Swinney, cabinet secretary for finance in Scotland, said public sector buyers would need to increase skills and resources if they were to implement the clauses successfully in future. A review of the schemes revealed that concerns that such clauses would deter suppliers from bidding were unfounded.