The inclusion of community benefits in public contracts can deliver wider social and economic benefits as part of public spending decisions.
This case study sets out the positive contribution the inclusion of community benefit requirements in relevant public contracts and framework agreements can make to national outcomes.
Scottish Procurement awarded a six month contract to Sopra Steria in 2017 to deliver a discovery phase for disability benefits.
The purpose was to inform the future direction of disability benefits, from an end user and technology perspective.
Bidders were asked in the invitation to tender to explain what community benefits they could offer. In response, Sopra Steria proposed the creation of an internship for a disabled person.
Sopra Steria worked with Inclusion Scotland (IS) to create an accessible role profile, and support the internship position. This included designing an inclusive person specification that did not unintentionally deter certain applicants.
Inclusion Scotland supported both the applicant and Sopra Steria throughout the process. This included highlighting the opportunity to its network, conducting pre-interviews with candidates, and providing support to candidates by attending interviews with them. Following up with an in-work support meeting to explore any impairment related barriers and reasonable adjustments.
The internship was such a success that Sopra Steria extended this beyond the original three month period. A decision was then made to make this a permanent job
Mark Furnivall, Head of Sales Support - Government from Sopra Steria said “We understand the importance of addressing community benefits within contracts and the wider impacts on society. As the subject matter of this contract focussed on disability benefits, it was a great opportunity to include an internship”
“The position offered the intern an interesting project on which they could gain work experience and develop their skills and networks.”
“We are delighted that we have been able to make the position permanent.”
Louis Ratcliffe, Internship Programme Manager from Inclusion Scotland, said “Our goal was to support both the host employer and the intern to achieve a good result whilst learning about how to get the best from inclusive employment practice for disabled people.”
“These results can only be achieved with employers like Sopra Steria who understand the real practice and business benefits of inclusive recruitment. Sopra Steria engaged in an honest conversation about their current practices and committed to making lasting improvements, to remove previously unrecognised barriers to inclusive employment.”
“As a result, Sopra Steria now have a talented and knowledgeable team member and an improved working environment for all.”
How this case study contributed to national outcomes
Including community benefit requirements in this contract resulted in an internship for a disabled person and subsequently a permanent job. This contributes to the national outcomes:
- We respect, protect and fulfil human rights and live free from discrimination.
- We have thriving and innovative businesses, with quality jobs and fair work for everyone.
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