JISC Advance Work Based Learning Procurement Project

A new JISC Advance Project is working with the Work Based Learning (WBL) sector in England with a view to setting up a national purchasing service similar to those which currently exist for FE colleges, Universities and most of the public sector. The JISC Advance Work Based Learning Procurement Project, which is funded by BIS, has three main aims:

  • To set up national contracts for a range of high spend items for WBL providers
  • To provide through a website an electronic market place GeM for WBL, an amazon type buying service
  • To negotiate agreements for specialist high spend items to the sector such as Awarding Organisations (qualifications)

The Project Manager Steve Durham comments that “the time is right for this type of service given the financial pressures that training providers are under. We want to establish a level playing field for procurement and make available contracts and prices which to date they haven’t been able to access. Providers will be able to make savings through a range of contracts with quality assured suppliers.”

In recent months the project has generated a lot of interest throughout the sector and is working closely with some key partner organisations in WBL, these include Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network and the Association of Employment and Learning Providers. Next month, December 2012, will be a key month for the project with:

  • The launch of the website gemforwbl
  • The start of the first national contract with Office Depot

Further information about these launches will appear here, but if you are a work based learning provider wanting to use the service or have any other questions you can contact the Project Manager Steve Durham: steve.durham@jiscadvance.ac.uk

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