Public Procurement and Property
Talking Supported Businesses with BASE
Nick Ford, Director of Scottish Procurement and Property, was recently invited to speak at the latest meeting of the Scotland-based members of BASE, the British Association for Supported Employment.
Improving opportunities for Supported Businesses with the Scottish supply chain is a key part of our work within the Sustainable Procurement Duty, and supports Scotland’s ambitions to halve the disability employment gap by 2038.
We now welcome a guest blog from Alistair Kerr, Chairman of BASE Scotland to tell us more about the recent meeting and BASE’s plans for the coming months.
The time is now. As we slowly emerge from, and learn to live with the pandemic, the true developing social and economic impact on disabled people is starting to materialise. This is where the Scottish Government Sustainable Procurement Duty can provide a robust platform to support Disabled or Disadvantaged people across Scotland to achieve individual goals and ambitions.
The pandemic has demonstrated like never before the vital role Scotland’s Supported Businesses can play in Scotland’s social and economic recovery. Maximising spend through the Supported Business Framework and direct awards. Partnership and networking were the foundation for the BASE Scotland Regional Forum on 12 January, shinning a spotlight on Sustainable Procurement creating employment opportunities for Disabled people in Scotland.
We were joined by Nick Ford from Scottish Government Procurement and Property Directorate, Jim Johnstone from Morrison Construction, Annette Tonner from Community Focus Scotland and Natalie McCrindle from Social Security Scotland Procurement. All provided an insight into the art of the possible and procurement ambition, including discussing in detail around current frameworks and models that are already producing positive outputs.
Nick had recently visited one of the UK’s largest Supported Businesses – Royal Strathclyde Blindcraft Industries (RSBi) in Glasgow. Seeing first-hand the outputs from the sustainable procurement ambitions and importantly, meeting a number of the people who are employed and have benefitted from the policy aims.
Forthcoming opportunities discussed included the new National Construction Framework (Civil Engineering), the National Procurement Conference / Procurex 2022 and the development of the current Supported Business Framework. It was also recognised that supporting small local community organisations as part of the Scotland recovery plan was vital to ensuring that the most disadvantaged get the chances they so richly deserve. The general feeling that the principles of sustainable procurement duties delivering both social and economic outputs were timely and welcome.
The BASE Scotland network warmly welcomed the opportunity for detailed partnership discussions laser focussed on a greater understanding of the procurement policy ambitions and delivering sustained outcomes for all committed to Scotland’s recovery and a sustainable future for Scotland’s Supported Businesses. The BASE network continues to grow with a greater depth of offer. We warmly welcome the opportunity to develop the conversation going forward and embedding Scottish Government procurement ambitions in individual procurement strategies going forward.
BASE is looking forward to developing our relationships with public sector procurement over the months and years ahead. Disabled or Disadvantaged people expect and deserve nothing less. The time is now!
Thank you very much, Alistair. We very much look forward to continuing our engagement with the BASE Scotland Network and galvanising the Power of Procurement to drive forward opportunities for Supported Businesses, supporting more disabled people into meaningful work and improving lives for the better.
If you enjoyed this blog, you may like our first blog with BASE celebrating the UN Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December 2021
For further information on public procurement in Scotland please visit www.gov.scot/procurement
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