BIS Select Committee – use Public Procurement to boost apprenticeships

The groundswell of opinion in fair of the implantation of social policy through Public Procurement continues to build.

In its recent report, attached, the Department of Business Innovation and Skills Select Committee makes (amongst many others) the following recommendation:

“In terms of using public procurement to incentivise apprenticeships, the Minister told us that he was determined to push this as far as possible “within the constraints of the law”. We recommend that in its response the Department sets out how it proposes to resolve any legal issues preventing the Government from attaching requirements for apprentices in major public procurement projects commissioned by itself, local government and publicly-funded bodies.”

The prompt for this recommendation was evidence heard by the Committee which promoted the use of Public Procurement as a tool for implementing social and economic policy in the area of promoting the provision and take up of apprenticeships. The TUC suggested to the Committee that for every £1m of value procured, successful suppliers should provide at least 1 apprentice.

Albeit that the Government ha publicly welcomed the report its response to Committee questioning was distinctly lukewarm.

Are the Living Wage and Apprenticeships two bridgeheads which might make real practical inroads on this issue?

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