Procure North West

Procure North West to tackle skills shortage

A new procurement framework that aims to tackle the North West’s skills shortage has officially been launched.

Under Procure North West, contractors will have a responsibility to support construction skills training.

The framework will include four project value bands from £1m-£5m, £5m-£15m, £15m-25m and £25m-plus, with up to eight contractors allocated to each category.

The framework will also directly provide funding for additional training by donating a percentage of the framework fee to enable young people to develop skills and access apprenticeships.

Procure North West plans to hire contractors who are capable of delivering public sector construction schemes up until 2022 across the North West.

The framework has also committed to supporting public sector bodies with access to grant funding through a strategic procurement fund.

Public sector organisations can apply for free grants to help support new strategic projects.

Robbie Blackhurst, managing director at Procure North West, said that public sector budget pressures and skills shortages were two of the biggest issues facing the construction industry right now.

“As well as helping to facilitate projects that will help shape our growing towns and cities, I felt it was important to be able to give something back to help protect the future of the industry in the region.

“The framework pushes the boundaries of how procurement can support public sector bodies to deliver their strategic targets and enable them to deliver projects that they may otherwise not be able to get off the ground.”

The framework is available for use by all public sector clients, including local authorities, schools, colleges, universities, NHS bodies and leisure providers.

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