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New tenders policy aims to increase city jobs

Socially conscious firms to get bumped up contracts queue

Published on October 5th 2012.


New tenders policy aims to increase city jobs

BUSINESSES that commit to creating jobs and skills in Liverpool will find themselves first in line for major city contracts, Mayor Joe Anderson has announced. 

Firms promising to act with “social responsibility” will be given priority when tenders go out for £270m worth of goods and services bought in by Liverpool City Council. 

Organisations with a smaller gap between the highest and lowest paid staff, and social enterprises which plough their profits back in to developing the business, will be among those that find themselves favoured when contracts are handed out.

If effective, it would provide desperately needed help in a city which, according to research by the GMB union this year, has the UK's highest proportion of homes without anybody working – with 31 per cent of Liverpool’s 160,000 houses effectively “jobless”. 

'Boost'

The Government’s new Social Value Act, which comes into force in January 2013, will require all councils to take into account the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the area when buying services. But the Liverpool proposals go further, applying the “social value” factor to a greater range of contracts, says Mayor Anderson.

His deputy, Paul Brant, said the plans would mean a “shift towards making sure every penny of our spending benefits local people”. 



“The city council spends substantial amounts of money and it has the potential to really boost the local economy. 

“We hope it will particularly help local suppliers, boost social enterprise and encourage small and medium sized enterprises to grow.” 

When awarding contracts, the council will consider what recruitment and training, subcontract and supply chain opportunities can be obtained to benefit the local community. 

It could mean that work experience, training, equal opportunities and the recruitment of apprentices are stipulated as part of the contract specification. Businesses can choose to either: absorb the cost, pass it on to the city council or use Government initiatives such as the Young Person’s Guarantee to offset it. 

Love Me Tender
Jobs and skills contract clauses will be considered first when awarding new service and construction agreements, while existing contracts will be subject to negotiated voluntary agreements.

All existing service and construction contracts that are framework contracts or have an annual value of more than £5 million will be subject to negotiated voluntary agreements.

Cllr Brant added: “This is about saying to firms that, in return for being awarded major contracts, we want them to demonstrate their commitment to developing jobs and skills in the city.”

The council's overall procurment system came under fire from the Mayor in June after an investigation by internal auditors. A new set of guidelines was set to be drawn up.

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Distant WatersOctober 7th 2012.

Well that would count Peel out then.

AnonymousOctober 18th 2012.

Good to see that Joe Anderson and the Council want to do their best for local companies, who create skills and provide employment fror Merseyside people. However, it is sad that the "Keep the North Docks Derelict" campaigners like to have a side swipe at Peel Holdings at every possibility.

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