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14 October 2011 | Angeline Albert
Buyers at Transport for London (TfL) have won a leadership award for encouraging the creation of apprenticeships in a range of contracts, including cycle hire.
The supplier skills team came top in the leadership category at the Race for Opportunity (RfO) awards, which recognise efforts to increase diversity in the workplace, for its work developing skills in its supply chain.
The team's ‘strategic labour needs and training’ (SLNT) programme supported the Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s aim to boost apprenticeships and the involvement of local communities in supplier activity.
Matthew Galvin, responsible procurement manager at the GLA Group, told SM: “It is an example of procurement being recognised as a strategic leadership tool to drive positive change across businesses. In the current economic and social climate it highlights the role procurement can play in meeting key societal challenges.”
With a target of providing 1,000 apprenticeships through both the GLA Group and its supply chain every year, the supplier skills team achieved this by building apprenticeships and other training opportunities into contracts, where appropriate.
Apprenticeship specifications were included in contracts for services including Barclays Cycle hire – known locally as “Boris bikes” – facilities management and engineering deals.
The team stipulates that suppliers for certain services create one apprenticeship for every £1 million pounds a contract is worth. In deals for construction services, one apprenticeship is required for every £3 million.
SLNT requirements have been incorporated into more than £1 billion of relevant TfL contracts in each of the past three years.
TfL beat Goldman Sachs and Sainsbury’s to the accolade. The GLA Group includes Transport for London, the Metropolitan Police Authority, the London Development Agency and the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.