Procurement People of Tomorrow: procurement schools pack

A pack designed for secondary school students to inform them of the procurement professions and the opportunities they bring.

Procurement People of Tomorrow

Our aim is to leave a sustainable legacy in Scotland for the Procurement Profession.

Procurement People of Tomorrow (PPoT) is a Scotland-wide partnership programme, involving both the public and private sector, that aims to create our ‘future’ procurement and commercial talent. Our vision is to leave a sustainable legacy for the procurement profession in Scotland by growing our own talent to address industry-wide skills shortages.

This pack was brought together by the PPoT working group, building on earlier career guidance packs from procurement teams across Scotland. All members of the working group are current or former Procurement Graduates, Modern Apprentices and career changers from the Scottish public sector.

Attract • Develop • Retain

Further Information
Procurement People of Tomorrow website

What is procurement?

What is it?

Procurement and supply chain management involves buying the goods and services that enable an organisation to operate in a profitable and ethical manner; including managing the network of manufacturers, suppliers and logistics providers needed to get a good or service to your business.

Why is it important?

Procurement is often responsible for up to 70 per cent of a company’s revenue and small reductions in cost or improvements in quality or technology can have a huge impact on profits. Within the public sector, it is not only critical to spend tax payers money efficiently and ensure quality and innovative public services, but procurement is viewed as an important lever for wider economic growth. Good procurement practices can help to promote innovation, ensure that suppliers adhere to fair, ethical and safe work practices for their employees and it can contribute to a range of wider social, economic and environmental benefits.

Benefits of a Career in Procurement

  • An interesting and varied job with career prospects
  • From local to global influence
  • Transferable skills and personal development
  • Good pay and rewards package
  • Influencing the procurement of sustainable products and services that support ethical work practices and the protection of our environment

If you like variety in your life, then you can move from buying one product, service or component to another. You can get involved in supply chain projects working to improve quality, reduce cost, support and enable innovation, find more environmentally sustainable  solutions and encourage investment in training programmes and apprenticeships.

Where does procurement take place in Scotland?

Every part of Scotland needs procurement to buy goods, services and works.

Map: Every part of Scotland needs procurement to buy goods, services and works

Where does procurement take place in your life?

That is the basic function of procurement! → Procurement is not just a career choice it is also something you do in your daily life. When you buy clothing in shops or online, food from the supermarket, you usually don’t pick the first thing you see. You look at other options, compare prices, and compare quality.

You also learn the skills of procurement in almost all subjects you take in High School:

Languages Leading international negotiations; managing international supply chains
English Effective communications; writing contracts; influencing stakeholders and decision makers
Sciences Gathering evidence and analysing data; understanding how product design influences the ability to source ethical or environmentally friendly supply chains
Social Studies Considering how public services and the impact on citizens needs to be considered in procurement strategies; understanding different cultures and relationships
IT Understanding digital standards when designing procurement specifications; enabling innovation and future proofing solutions
Drama Ability to present with confidence, clarity and impact; understanding your stakeholders’ interests and motivations; adapting your style to better influence outcomes
Maths Understanding pricing models; analysing the short, medium and longer term cost of solutions; developing business cases
Business Studies Having a wider commercial awareness supports decision making; understanding how markets operate allows you to build this in to your procurement strategies; analysing suppliers’ finances; understanding international trade and the effect of changes in exchange rates

Some of the skills you may need…


Innovative Thinking

Problem Solving


Organisation Skills

Presentation Skills

Building Relationships

Listening and Communicating Effectively

Team Working Skills

Tech/Digital Savvy

A career in procurement. Where do I begin?

There are a number of ways you can begin your Procurement Journey. Whether you want to study or learn on the job there are many routes available.

Modern Apprenticeship → College → Undergraduate Degree → Graduate Apprenticeship → Post Graduate Degree

As well as these apprenticeship and academic routes there are a number of organisations that will offer work placements and internships. The best way to get into these is to look up the company you are interested in and approach them directly.

Public Sector • Private Sector • Specific Industries

All of these sectors can have:

  • National Focus
  • Global Reach
  • Local Focus

Modern Apprenticeship

The Procurement Modern Apprenticeship is designed to encourage entry into the procurement industry.

The Modern Apprenticeship in Procurement will allow you to have a full-time job whilst taking part in projects across the organisation to gather evidence for completing a qualification.

Different industries and employers will want different things from a Modern Apprentice. So, the entry requirements will depend on the opportunity you’re going for.

These might include things like qualifications, work experience or volunteering you’ve done. The employer will explain what they’re looking for.

Modern Apprenticeships are also available at several levels so there are  a range of opportunities for people with different levels of skills and knowledge.

Further Information
My World of Work (Skills Development Scotland) website

Higher National Certificate/ Diploma (HNC/HND)

City of Glasgow College offer the HNC and HND in Procurement and Supply Chain Management.

Higher National qualifications offered at college provide practical skills and theoretical knowledge that meet the needs of employers.

Typically, an HNC takes one year to complete and an HND takes two years.

  • The HNC in Supply Chain Management (SCQF level 7) develops knowledge and skills in areas such as logistics, procurement, operations management and quality management. It will provide learners with a solid knowledge base on which to commence a career in supply chain management and/or progress to higher qualifications.
  • The HND in Supply Chain Management (SCQF level 8) builds on the knowledge and skills of the HNC and involves a more strategic application of all aspects of the supply chain.

Minimum Entry Requirements: Two Higher Grade passes at Grade C or above including English (Modern Studies, Economics, History or Business)

Additional Selection Requirements: You will be invited for a group and/or individual interview where you will get the opportunity to find out more about the course and tell us why you are interested in this subject area.

Further Information
City of Glasgow College website

Additional HNC/D providers may be available.

Additional routes: Please be aware there are many more paths that can take you into procurement. e.g. Law or Business Management degrees.

University Undergraduate Course

A BA in Supply Chain Management is a specialist degree that will develop skills from purchasing & logistics through to operations, procurement and project management.

Students are provided with a foundation in supply chain management theory and learn how this can be applied to various business environments and sectors.

A BA (Hons) in International Supply Chain Management is currently offered by Glasgow Caledonian University. Direct entry to Year 3 only.

Minimum Entry Requirements:

  • HND Supply Chain Management,
  • HND Business,
  • HND Retail Management,
  • HND Administration & IT with a B (or an average of B) in the Graded Units.
  • Other business-related HND programmes may be considered.

Further Information
Glasgow Caledonian Website

Graduate Apprenticeships

Graduate Apprenticeships (GAs) offer students fully funded degrees and provide employees with the skills companies need.

How does it work?

The Graduate Apprenticeship scheme provides flexible, work-based learning and is open to existing employees  and new recruits. Apprentices continue to work full time, and are required to spend approximately one day each week over four years.

Programme Content:

  • Procurement/Supply Chain Management
  • International Trade
  • Organisational Performance
  • Interpersonal Excellence
  • Personal Effectiveness
  • Change Management
  • Human Resources
  • Sales and Marketing

What will you gain?

After completing four years at university, you will receive a Bachelor of Honours Degree in Business Management.

Is there a cost?

GAs are fully funded by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) so there are no fees for employers or apprentices for the degree programme. Places are limited and in demand, and offered on a first-come first- served basis to qualified candidates.

Further Information
Apprenticeships Scotland Website

University Post Graduate Courses

An MSc in Supply Chain and Procurement Management is a specialist post graduate degree that will develop transferable management skills enabling organisational and contextual linkage with the specialist areas of Supply Chain and Procurement.

MSc courses in Supply Chain and Procurement Management are currently being offered by:

  • Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • Robert Gordon University
  • The University of Strathclyde,
  • University of the West of Scotland

Minimum entry requirements:

Normally a UK 2.2 undergraduate degree or equivalent in a relevant subject area.

Further Information
Glasgow Caledonian University
Heriot-Watt University
Robert Gordon University
Strathclyde University
University of the West of Scotland

Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply

Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) is the largest organisation in the world dedicated to the procurement profession, operating on a global scale.

CIPS is a worldwide organisation from the UK to Africa, Australia and America.

CIPS qualifications are professional qualifications in procurement and supply that are internationally recognised within the industry. They are based on the global standard for procurement and supply.

These qualifications feature within procurement MAs and college/ university courses. Procurement professionals can also study CIPS qualifications independently.

There are a variety of CIPS qualifications available:

  • Certificate Qualification – Level 2
  • Advanced Certificate – Level 3
  • Diploma – Level 4
  • Advanced Diploma – Level 5
  • Professional Diploma – Level 6

These courses are available to study in centres in Scotland and are also available for self-study.

CIPS qualifications lead to MCIPS status, which means you are globally recognised as a highly skilled procurement professional.

Further Information

Looking for a job in Procurement?

There are many different types of job roles available in procurement. The career tree below sets out different job titles you may come across. In procurement you have the flexibility to transfer between roles and specialisms and between industries as part of your career development.

This career tree sets out different job titles you may come across

Further Information
Procurious Blog



Procurement People of Tomorrow programme

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