On 19 June 2013 the Apprenticeships and Skills (Public Procurement Contracts) Bill had its first reading in the House of Commons. The second reading is likely to be in November.
This is a Private Members’ Bill and, if history is a reliable guide and it does not have government support, it may never make it to the Statute Book.
It is, however, interesting from a procurement perspective. With the Social Value Act having paved the way for Local Authorities legitimately to take account of available social, economic and environmental improvements in making procurement decisions, this Bill seeks to sharpen the focus.
We don’t have the full text of the Bill available but its object is to bring about an obligation that certain public sector procurements will require contractors to commit to provide apprenticeships and skills training.
The boundaries of the interface between opening up markets to competition and implementing horizontal policies within public procurement are indeed shifting….