Worcestershire uses purchasing power to boost employment

26 August 2011

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27 August 2011 | Angeline Albert

Worcestershire County Council's buyers are including clauses in contracts designed to increase training and job opportunities for people in the local area.

Written into both tender documents and contracts, the clauses require council suppliers to add community value by tackling joblessness and driving economic growth.

The local authority plans to use its buying power to target different groups, such as the long-term unemployed, school leavers and those with mental health issues and physical disabilities by increasing the number of apprenticeship and training places available in the county.

Michael Howard, the council’s strategic procurement manager, said: “Worcestershire County Council procures the services of thousands of businesses each year from small local firms to major organisations. It is really important then that wherever possible, we use our status as a buyer to best effect by increasing jobs, skills and training opportunities.”

Although the council has previously used its buying power in this way on several occasions, the procurement team announced a formal purchasing process this month to ensure the local authority’s spending is used to benefit the area while still adhering to EU procurement rules.

The move follows purchasing innovations by several councils in the county. In November, the five councils in Worcestershire announced plans to collaborate on purchasing. They were Malvern Hills District Council, Bromsgrove District Council, Redditch Borough Council, Wyre Forest District Council and Wychavon District Council.

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