Report on tackling poverty through public contracts launched in Birmingham

By on 23/06/2014 in Cllr Ali, News

A report highlighting how poverty can be tackled by including employment and training opportunities in public contracts will have its regional launch in Birmingham today (23 June).

The report, Tackling Poverty Through Public Procurement, names Birmingham City Council as an example of notable success in this area after the council included jobs and skills requirements as conditions in the £193million Library of Birmingham contract, resulting in 306 jobs for city residents, including 82 apprenticeships, with 54 per cent of these opportunities taken by those living in priority areas.

The report says: “Tackling poverty through employment is an essential element of the UK's sustainable development framework that every contracting authority needs to consider, not just those focusing on poverty and disadvantage. Targeting recruitment and training opportunities at disadvantaged people needs to be a key consideration in sustainable procurement.”

Today's launch, which takes place at the library, in Centenary Square, is being hosted by Birmingham City Council in partnership with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which commissioned the report from independent researcher Richard Macfarlane, and Anthony Collins Solicitors, which collaborated with Mr Macfarlane on the report.

The event, which will be chaired by Cllr Tahir Ali, Birmingham City Council's Cabinet Member for Development, Transport and the Economy, will be attended by delegates from a wide range of local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships, as well as external partners, developers and contractors.

Cllr Ali said: “Birmingham is proud to be hosting the launch of the JRF report on Tackling Poverty today.  We have been featured in the report for our good work to date in getting young people into jobs and apprenticeships, especially at flagship projects, such as the new Library of Birmingham and New Street Station.

“But we are also keen to learn from others and do more - there is much still to be done on tackling youth unemployment in this city, and using our purchasing power is a key tool in achieving opportunities with private sector partners and promoting real career prospects.”

Report author Richard Macfarlane said: “Birmingham City Council is at the forefront of using social clauses to achieve significant opportunities for young and marginalised people, so it is particularly appropriate that this launch should take place in the city.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

  1. In addition to the Library of Birmingham, the ongoing regeneration of New Street Station and surrounding property has also featured in the report, with the initiative so far delivering 325 construction jobs, apprenticeships and graduate positions filled by Birmingham residents and a further 70 positions safeguarded, while 101 unemployed Birmingham residents have participated in customised pre-employment training.
  2. Birmingham City Council recently signed an Employment and Skills Charter with developer Galliford Try committing to providing opportunities for unemployed Birmingham residents during the construction phase of the new Birmingham Dental Hospital and School of Dentistry at the former Pebble Mill site in Edgbaston, as well as sustaining employment for those already working within the construction sector under Birmingham City Council's Building Jobs in Birmingham strategy.

For further information contact Jonathan Horsfall on 0121 303 3367

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