Targeting community benefits in Prison construction in Scotland, UK
To ensure social sustainability considerations were embedded in the phase 2 development of Shotts prison the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) specified the requirement for contractors to consider Community Benefits. Working in partnership with North Lanarkshire Council (NLC) a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) was developed which specifically tested bidder experience of including community benefit involvement within construction projects.
The key areas focussed on were Recruitment and Training; Involvement of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises and Involvement of the Third (Voluntary) Sector. The NLC hosted a ‘Bidders’ Forum’ with SPS to provide background to the requirements on existing regeneration and other Community Benefit programmes operational in the local area. NLC also supported the SPS procurement process by providing specific questions for inclusion within the Invitation to Tender along with an example format of an ‘Employability and Skills plan’. Bidders were requested to address these elements which were assessed as part of the tender evaluation process.
The winning contractor (Laing O’Rourke) for the design and build contract (awarded in December 2010) outlined a number of community benefits provisions that will be undertaken during the construction project. These include: 16 employment opportunities for people who have been unemployed for over 12 months; work based training weeks and local subcontractor engagement in support of the primary contract. Laing O’Rouke were proactive in meeting with the SPS prior to works commencing and engaging with proposed sub-contractors to outline requirements, which included the delivery of a breakfast seminar to prospective supply chain companies. Throughout the process the Laing O’Rouke Project Manager has been actively engaged in driving the Community Benefits agenda with SPS and NLC. Outcomes achieved include 8 higher level apprenticeships, 10 labouring jobs created and a number of existing apprenticeships sustained through the project.
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