Where local authorities and others that are bound by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 procure goods, services or works, it is possible for them to consider the opportunities for achieving community benefit through these contracts.
These opportunities may be particularly useful when working with or attempting to facilitate a CLH development.
- Community benefit might, for example, involve imposing targeted recruitment and training obligations on contractors, with a view to creating more jobs and training opportunities in a specific community. This can be achieved within the confines of European procurement law
- While the Council or other “client” is often focused on a desire to see benefits for the local community from significant contracts, this needs to be balanced against the current requirement under EU law for equal treatment of potential service providers and contractors based in other EU Member States
- For this reason, ‘local labour’ requirements are often seen as being unlawful. As a contrast, training and employment opportunities aimed at a specific demographic which is at a disadvantage within the Council’s administrative area – for example the long term unemployed, who are often the furthest removed from the labour market – can achieve the same positive results for a local community without prejudicing potential bidders from outside of the area
- In a contractual context it can be most effective to include detailed specifications and contract terms and conditions in contracts (where they’re relevant) to require contractors to achieve community benefits as part of what they are providing under their contract
- CLH clearly provides opportunities for job creation and skills development, most particularly in the context of house building and refurbishment. There is a positive history of targeted recruitment and training in construction contracts, including house building, and much of this experience is particularly relevant to the CLH context
There are a number of targeted recruitment and training Toolkits in the public domain, which include detailed contractual clauses, and wording for inclusion in procurement processes, alongside detailed case studies which demonstrate good practice. See links below.