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i2i sponsorship feature

Keeping it local: maximising the Welsh £

i2i recently published its ‘2 years on’ report on the impact of the Can Do approach across the housing sector in Wales. Some of the key achievements are set out below.

1183 job and training opportunities have been created between September 2008 and November 2010. This equates to 11.4 new opportunities per week.

The Arbed Programme

The Can Do Toolkit was used as a grant stipulation in the Arbed programme to create 156 training weeks for every £1 million pound of grant funding. This approach has enabled 82 Jobmatch participants to work on Arbed sites, including:

  • 30 Trainees working with Charter Housing, RCT Homes, Rhondda Housing, Bron Afon and United Welsh on external wall insulation projects
  • 20 trainees working with Wales & West, V2C and United Welsh to fit solar panels
  • 10 trainees working for Warm Wales, Charter Housing and Bron Afon as Community Energy Wardens
  • 22 other trainees placed with a range of registered social landlords in the Heads of the Valleys

Valleys to Coast Housing

Through the WHQS programme, V2C has achieved:

  • over 500 weeks of jobs and training opportunities provided to disadvantaged residents
  • 8 long term employment opportunities
  • approximately 17 NVQ construction qualifications awarded
  • 11 multi skilled training opportunities for unemployed residents completing NVQ level 2 construction qualifications

Across all investment programmes, V2C has created 211 training and job opportunities through using the Can Do approach.

Swansea City Council – Beyond Bricks and Mortar

The Beyond Bricks & Mortar (BB&M) Team are the champions for social benefits within the Council and this approach was made a Council policy in March 2009. Since then the team has:

  • launched the Beyond Bricks & Mortar Charter for Partners and Contractors to gain buy-in and commitment
  • put Social Benefit Clauses into 16 Council projects
  • put Social Benefit Clauses into and/or influenced 7 other projects with external organisations such as Arriva Trains and the Welsh Assembly Government

Of the 3 completed contracts and 6 current contracts, 22 training places have been found, 12 of which are ongoing achieving 266 person weeks to date.

<strongCreating a level playing field for SMEs in Wales

The pre-procurement stage is so important to determine how SMEs will be engaged within a procurement project and what model of delivery is preferred. Many housing providers in west and north Wales have committed to following the principles of the Can Do Toolkit on SME friendly procurement including those highlighted below.

Tai Ceredigion:

  • indicated the criteria for tendering through 3 turnover categories, allowing contractors to only tender for one lot in the framework according to their company turnover
  • only requiring smaller companies to complete specific parts of the PQQ
  • will maintain contact with small contractors who are successful at PQQ stage, but do not make it onto the final framework in order to up skill them and bid for sub-contract opportunities
  • working with local suppliers to agree a ‘Ceredigion price’ for materials
  • conducted Meet the Buyer events and have used local press to advertise opportunities

Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd:

  • is undergoing a tendering exercise with 60% of WHQS investment work likely to be allocated to a main contractor and 40% to trade SMEs. CCG will also directly manage its own supply chain
  • CCG’s main contractors have also pledged to employ 16% of their workforce through targeted recruitment and training
  • in partnership with local contractors on an Arbed project, 8 Future Jobs Fund individuals were employed

Carmarthenshire County Council:

  • developed a contractor partnering framework which ensured that SMEs had the opportunity to tender for work and that the local construction industry was utilised and developed
  • 14 contractors were appointed, 8 of which are local SMEs and work nearly exclusively on the Carmarthenshire Homes Standard Programme
  • engaging in construction training was a key requirement of all successful contractors and by ensuring that local construction companies were part of the framework, this enabled construction training and skill development to be focused in Carmarthenshire
  • the Council also became an active partner of CCTAL – the Carmarthenshire Construction Training Association Ltd – in 2008 and through this, plays a role in shaping the local construction industry over the next few years. This is a partnership developed by 28 local contractors and Coleg Sir Gar

Cymdeithas Tai Eryri:

  • has developed a ‘photovoltaic cluster’ on the Pencraig estate in Llangefni through delivering Arbed
  • Dulas, a Machynlleth based company, installed the first 40 systems and then worked with 6 local companies to help them achieve MCS accreditation. They will then install the next 100 systems on the estate
  • each company will be providing at least 6 months training placements to unemployed young people during the course of the project

For support in your area, please contact:

South Wales: Kirsty.ellis@cih.org

North Wales: dewi@taieryri.co.uk

i2i manager: elin.jones@cih.org

i2i publications are available online on the i2i section of WHQ website.

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