Scottish government embeds procurement into school curriculum

24 October 2012

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24 October 2012 | Anna Reynolds

Scotland’s deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a partnership between the Scottish government, the City of Glasgow College and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS), which will provide 16-17 year olds with direct pathways into the procurement profession.

Speaking yesterday at national procurement conference Procurex in Glasgow, Sturgeon said that the Scottish Procurement Learning and Development Partnership aims to inspire the next generation to choose a career in procurement. “Having skilled procurement professionals is absolutely key to avoiding the sort of costly procurement problems that we have seen occurring south of the border recently,” she said.

The partnership, also involving other public and private sector bodies, will deliver three pathways for students, including work experience, a modern apprenticeship and a higher education course (HNC/HND in procurement).

The modern apprenticeship will be launched in October 2013 in collaboration with Skills Development Scotland and will provide vocational qualifications in procurement.

And over the next year, City of Glasgow College will be developing the higher education qualification – the first in Scotland.

Nikki Bell, head of Scottish Procurement Policy and Strategy at Scottish Government and chair of the partnership, told SM: “We want people to be passionate about procurement and genuinely want to work in the profession.”

She added that while the agenda is government-led, it is not restricted to the public sector: “We are using our contacts in the private sector to get them on board.”

The Scottish government is also working with agencies that offer career guidance to raise awareness of the procurement profession across every school in Scotland and is in discussion with the Directorate for Learning about providing procurement resources for teachers.

The partnership follows the success of Generation Y, a pilot scheme initiated by City of Glasgow College in partnership with CIPS and the Scottish government.

Currently running across six schools in Glasgow, the scheme gives students the opportunity to gain a CIPS Level 2 certificate in procurement and supply, and aims to provide work placements. It is hoped roll it out across all schools in Scotland throughout 2013/14.

CIPS CEO David Noble said: “Scotland is really driving forward with making procurement the career of choice. It has built on the original CIPS Generation Y concept and its innovative, joined-up approach across Scottish government, colleges, schools, universities and the various agencies involved in supporting opportunities for young people is ground breaking.

“I am very much looking forward to seeing its vision become a reality and seeing the learning from Scotland implemented elsewhere.”

CEO and principal of City of Glasgow College Paul Little said: “This project is so aligned to what our current strategy at City of Glasgow College School of Business and Enterprise creates with our professionalism in procurement initiative, which starts with encouraging 16-19 year olds into a career in procurement. ”

Speaking at the conference, Bell urged companies and training providers to take part in both schemes: “We already seem to have tweaked some people’s interest. The trick now is to open the door for them to help them into our profession.”


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