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Welsh Government’s manifesto commitments

It is certainly testament to the hard work of the Welsh housing sector that, within the Welsh Labour Manifesto, there are commitments made to the Can Do toolkits and their potential for increased job creation, training and community regeneration. The Welsh Government has the opportunity to lead the way on smarter procurement through its commitment to ‘exploit the potential for increased job creation, training and community regeneration by encouraging the imaginative use of community benefit and social clauses in procurement contracts by rolling out the ‘Can Do’ Toolkit across public sector service providers.’ (Welsh Labour Manifesto, p14).

Looking back at the £900million investment secured through the Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) programme in the last four years is vital to demonstrating the success of the approach. But reflected in the manifesto is the need to look forward and replicate the good practice from housing within other sectors across Wales.

The key areas that relate to i2i in the Labour manifesto are as follows:

  • Secure a further £1.2 billion of investment to deliver WHQS,… not only to improve the housing stock but also maximise its impact on local and community economic development through imaginative procurement to promote skills development and employability. (Welsh Labour Manifesto, p64)

i2i will continue to support the housing sector to progress with the Can Do toolkit approach to ensure that the creation of local jobs and community economic regeneration are maximised through social clauses procurement. i2i will support the sector to deliver by working with a variety of landlords to develop bespoke solutions to their own communities, in particular supporting employment prospects in social housing areas. i2i is already working with the DWP Work Programme to ensure that targeted recruitment and training is firmly on their agenda.

  • Ensure that housing investment delivers a minimum of 2,000 additional jobs and training through the i2i Can Do toolkit and work across Welsh Government departments to embed this imaginative, flexible approach to procurement in other investment programmes. (Welsh Labour Manifesto, p65)

i2i will provide hands on support to any organisation that wishes to use the Can Do Toolkits for job creation and regeneration of communities, as well as ensuring that SME friendly procurement objectives are used by all public sector buyers to create a level playing field for SMEs tendering in Wales. This will deliver the Welsh Government’s objective of ‘getting value for money for the Welsh Pound and in opening up these opportunities for small companies, supported employment and social enterprises in Wales’ (Welsh Labour Manifesto, p14).

In addition, i2i will work with the Welsh Government to identify grant programmes that could include the Can Do Toolkit as a condition of grant, in particular in areas such as health and education. If this approach is included in the second phase of Arbed, approximately 170 new job and training opportunities will be created across Wales.

In June 2010, the government announced their plans to reform welfare to work in the United Kingdom. Central to the reform is the creation of a single Work Programme.

The Work Programme is an integrated package of personalised support available to all people who are out of work, regardless of the benefit they claim. It will give providers longer to work with customers and greater freedom to decide the support they need. Working Links and JobFit Rehab have been names as the intended providers for Wales.

Working Links aims to providing step by step help from pre-employment training to post-employment support. If you would like to discuss any aspect of this work or use Working Links to help aid employment within your organisation, please contact: Ross Watts, Regional Partnership & Provision Manager on [email protected] or on mobile: 07967 717640

Housing-led regeneration has certainly risen up the agenda over the past couple of years. Having recently facilitated 2 seminars in Wales focused on ‘Measuring your Impact’, i2i and CIH Cymru are keen to revamp their housing-led regeneration offer and ensure that it reflects the demand and need within the sector.

If you have any thoughts on this, please contact Elin Brock-Jones (contact details below).

i2i is preparing its ‘three year on’ report to measure the success achieved during the last year in relation to the following aspects of the work of the team:

  • new job and training opportunities created by organisations using the Can Do ethos
  • new directions the toolkit is being taken in and how wider regeneration benefits are being achieved through procurement
  • what good practice is currently being developed

A questionnaire will be sent in the next few weeks to capture this information.

If your organisation would like to be included within the report or have any case studies that you would like to submit, please contact Rachel Honey-Jones (contact details below).

i2i contacts

Elin Brock-Jones – Housing & Regeneration Manager

Email: [email protected]

South Wales

Rachel Honey-Jones – i2i Co-ordinator

Email: [email protected]

Mobile: 07507 351906

Kirsty Ellis – i2i Co-ordinator

Email: [email protected]

Mobile: 07534 527544

North Wales

Dewi Llywd– i2i Co-ordinator

Email: [email protected]

Mobile: 07786 088387

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