Social Procurement, or Social Value is a concept applied to organisations that use their buying power to generate social value above and beyond simply making a profit. It’s all about being responsible corporate citizens. It benefits disadvantaged individuals and communities in concrete ways by providing the skills, support and pathways to employment that for reasons often beyond their control, people are unable to access. Social Procurement is a collaborative initiative between employers, developers, contractors, training organisations, Job Active Providers, Labour Hire companies and Support Services, designed to attack structural disadvantage.
As a business with a new team of people specialising in Social Procurement, we have established our very own, unique Collaboration Centre approach, built on over a decade of experimentation, data collection and analysis by the world’s leading academic researchers, in conjunction with a team of on-the-ground specialist implementers, our approach is designed to entirely fill the Social Procurement needs of our clients, as they tender for and win Government contracts.
A primary aim of Social Procurement is to leverage the opportunities presented by the operational phases of large-scale developments and more permanent, ongoing projects. Our Collaboration Centres ensure these opportunities support local disadvantaged and unemployed people and provide social value to the community. Through the provision of workplace training, work experience, ongoing wrap-around support services, and constant dialogue with employers, contractors, subcontractors and other potential employers on projects, our Collaboration Centres successfully leverage cross-sector partnerships, to identify and offer a range of pathways to employment, in particular for those from groups normally denied access to jobs in the Construction Industry and elsewhere.
Our Collaboration Centre initiative is set within the context of important changes in Australia’s social policy landscape and sets out to help address deep structural challenges in Australian society and welfare systems. These include:
- Intransigent social disadvantage and inequity in many parts of Australian society which seem resistant to traditional social welfare interventions;
- Trends in ‘New Public Governance’ which encourage the co-creation of social value through innovative cross sector partnerships between government, private, third and community sectors;
- Increasingly ‘wicked’ social problems which governments cannot solve alone, and which require new innovative solutions.
- Growth of public/private sector ‘social procurement’ policies which require contractors to demonstrably give back to the communities in which they work.
- Changing notions of ‘value for money’ among clients (public and private) which increasingly incorporate concepts of ‘social value’;
- Growing corporate social responsibility expectations of business by clients, communities, shareholders and employees;
- A growing third sector of socially responsible businesses to procure from (supply chain diversification);
- Innovation points in New Generation Green Star Rating Tools which recognise the importance of social value creation;
- A highly fragmented and competitive Job Services Sector which is incentivised to collaborate, but which has few historical connections with and understanding of the construction and other key industries;
- In the case of the construction industry, we see a highly fragmented, transitionary and commercial construction industry which has historically seen the community as a risk rather than an asset, and which has few connections and little understanding of the Job Services Sector.
The philosophy underpinning ProActive’s Collaboration Centres is based on the four key principles of being:
- having a shared value in making the world a better place,
- valuing innovation through collaboration and
- understanding that only by providing wrap-around support services can sustained change happen.
For more information on our Social Procurement stream and our Collaboration Centres, please contact ProActive directly on +61 473 319 100, alternatively, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org