Publication - Advice and guidance

Skills and training: sustainable procurement guidance

Published: 1 Nov 2018

Guidance for public bodies covering the purchase of goods, services or works where there are opportunities around training and skills development.

Skills and training: sustainable procurement guidance

Employment: skills and training

This guidance is concerned with buying goods, services or works where training and skills development are considered to be relevant and proportionate. While there may be opportunities arising from buying goods, these are most likely to arise when buying services and works.

It is part of a series of guides which support the sustainable procurement duty tools to help public sector organisations embed sustainability into their procurement processes.

Risk or opportunity

Are there opportunities to generate employment and training opportunities; or develop skills in potential suppliers' existing workforce?

For example, targeted recruitment and training opportunities, apprenticeships, or employment of young people who are not in employment, education or training; long term unemployed or other priority groups. 

In relevant contracts, community benefit requirements should be reflected throughout the procurement process, including: 

  • in the contract notice
  • in technical specifications, (that can include the method of production or provision of the requested goods, works or services)
  • as part of supplier selection
  • in award criteria that can include social and environmental characteristics
  • in the contract award notice 

This guide explains how to apply training and skills community benefits requirements at each stage of the procurement process.

Contract suitability and market capacity to meet a specific requirement need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Preliminary market consultation is crucial to be able to determine whether the market is capable of delivering a specific community benefit or whether requiring such would place too large a burden on suppliers. 

Disclaimer: This guidance is provided to support the embedding of relevant and proportionate contract/framework requirements and the information and examples are provided in good faith. To the extent that this guidance contains any information concerning procurement law such information does not constitute advice to you.

The content of this guidance is not to be construed as legal advice or a substitute for such advice, which you should obtain from your own legal advisers if required. Scottish Government is not and shall not be held responsible for anything done or not done by you as a result of this guidance.