26 January 2010 I Amy Rowe
A free online course to help small suppliers secure UK public sector deals has been set up.
The advice, called “Winning the contract”, was introduced yesterday by Lord Davies of Abersoch, minister for small business, and Liam Byrne, chief secretary to the Treasury. It aims to make the procurement market clearer, simpler and more accessible to SMEs.
It follows the introduction of the government’s Policy through Procurement Action Plan earlier this month, which called on public sector buyers to contribute to the UK’s financial recovery by supporting small firms.
“Small and medium-sized businesses are the engine-room of our economy,” Byrne said. “This course will help those businesses to compete effectively for government contracts, locking in the recovery and strengthening businesses throughout the country.”
The guidance, which was designed by the Office of Government Commerce and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, originally cost participants £49.99.
The Federation of Small Businesses welcomed the move, but chairman John Wright said the government had an obligation to publicise the guidance. He also raised concerns that it might exclude vendors with little or no access to fast broadband services.
Suppliers can register to access the “Winning the contract” course here.