Raploch is one of the most deprived places in the Forth Valley. Industrial decline saw unemployment rocket to 75%. Raploch URC was set up in 2004 to lead the town’s regeneration. Because of the dearth of employment opportunities Raploch URC recognised that the town’s physical regeneration was inseparable from the need to create local employment and skills opportunities. It therefore pioneered the use of social value clauses to ensure that any contractor or developer would provide a set number of training and employment opportunities over the life of the project. Raploch URC commissioned the R3 consortium to build 900 homes in the area over a 10 year period at the same time delivering a range of social benefits.
What did you do?
Raploch URC ensured that social benefits were woven throughout the tender process. The procurement was undertaken by Stirling Council on behalf of Raploch URC and included a power to promote or improve the well-being of its area and persons within its area. First Notification: The OJEU Notice, at an estimated £75m for the works, included the following statement on social value: The partner will be expected to embrace the concept of sustainable development and community benefit and will be required to work with the partners to deliver employment / training opportunities and other community benefits. The OJEU made it clear from the start that social value, particularly employment and training opportunities, were central to the development.Tender Documentation: The tender documentation continued to emphasise the importance of social value. Briefing Contractors – a briefing meeting was held at which Raploch URC highlighted the importance of the social value requirement and gave bidders thechance to clarify any questions.
The PQQ – included a question about bidders’ experiences of delivering social value, including experience of:- • Supporting economic development • Community consultation/capacity building • Training and employment opportunities • Partnership work with local people and local agencies
The PQQs were evaluated by a multi-disciplinary panel. The three applicants with the highest scoring responses to the PQQ were also the highest scoring in relation to social value questions and they were invited to tender for the contract. Proforma Method Statements – were included in the tender pack. They covered employment, training, equal opportunities, social enterprises and small business. For example bidders were asked to; Describe the steps that will be taken to ensure that suitable applicants from Employment Connections, Employ Ability Stirling, Job Centre Plus, Triage Central Ltd., Youth Services, Careers Scotland, Breaking the Mould and the Raploch Community Enterprise and interviewed by the prospective employer. This ensured that a range of people were provided with the opportunity to access employment. Bidders were also asked to demonstrate in their method statement their monitoring and reporting plans for the relevant social benefits as well as how they will ensure sub-contractor compliance, and insurances. There elements look ahead to the monitoring and reporting clauses in the contract.
A disclaimer was also included to ensure that Raploch URC could not be held responsible for any failures on behalf of contractors to deliver on social benefits. The inclusion of community benefit requirements dose not comprise or imply any promise on the part of the Employer or their agents or the Raploch Partnership (Shadow URC) to provide suitable trainees or labour. Within this context the employer and the Raploch Partnership will work with agencies to help facilitate the achievement of these community benefit requirements. Evaluation Criteria were clearly specified and included in the tender documentation. The social value scores were weighted at 10% of the overall scores. In view of its priority, the highest weighting was allocated to the training and recruitment elements. The commissioners therefore ensured that these priorities, highlighted at the outset, remained so throughout the tender process. Contract clauses were drawn up using the Method Statement. This ensured that there was continuity between the benefit requirements set out in the OJEU Notice all the way through to final contract. The inclusion of monitoring and reporting method statements provided a framework for how social benefits would be monitored.
Through the procurement process, the successful developer, R3 signed up to:- • 225 training and employment new entrant places over the 10-year programme; • Support and mentoring for small businesses; • Ring-fencing £2 million for suitable sub-contracting works • Support and mentoring for social enterprises – £900k ring-fenced to take forward projects.