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Skills Development Scotland: GO Awards finalist

Thursday October 18th, 2012

With not long to go until the GO Awards Scotland 2012, Gov Opps talks to one of the finalists,
Tom Wilson, Head Of Procurement at Skills Development Scotland…

Why did you decide to put yourselves forward for the GO Awards Scotland this year?

The Skills Development Scotland (SDS) Central Procurement Team is a new team – having been established three years ago. Major strides have been made in such a short period of time. We have achieved an accelerated route to “Superior” Procurement Capability – less than two years – through the independent Procurement Capability Assessment. There is now a greater level of maturity for such a young organisation. It is only now that we can truly justify putting ourselves forward.

What do you think sets you apart from the other nominees in your category/categories?

SDS can make a major contribution to Skills Development. This differentiates SDS from other nominees. We have worked behind the scenes to put in place the building blocks for a specific “Modern Apprenticeship” in Procurement. SDS can establish a legacy through putting in place targeted development pathways for the Procurement people of tomorrow. SDS has also introduced a Dynamic Purchasing System – to reduce administrative costs and bureaucracy when working with suppliers. 82% of the business placed by SDS is with Scottish SMEs. We have to be agile and responsive – the Dynamic Purchasing System allows us to meet sectoral skills requirements in an agile manner. We are the only Scottish Public Sector organisation which has put in place a Dynamic Purchasing System.

What would be the biggest benefit to your organisation from winning a GO Award?

The biggest benefit would be the recognition as to the contribution which our young people can make in delivering sustainable economic benefits. Scotland will be faced with major employer age profile difficulties in the future. We require to consider Long Term rather than Short Term. The benefit is not for SDS but to be selfless in the recognition of youth employment opportunities and to assist our young people in these difficult economic times.

What would you say has been your biggest challenge in the past year and how have you overcome it?

We would say that there have been major opportunities in the past year. We have been delighted to work with other public sector organisations : Scotland Excel, unitary authorities, NHS, DWP and the Community Partnership Planning Programmes (CPPs).

What’s next for your organisation?

We will work to support Targeted Recruitment and Training (Community Benefits) through establishing linkages and providing greater value add to employers / suppliers. The “Our Skills Force” website will be launched. This will provide details of employer offers which are available : Employer Recruitment Incentives, (government funded) Flexible Training Opportunities and the continued support of appropriate Modern Apprenticeship framework funding.  We can provide “win-win” opportunities for private sector and public sector employers.

Skills Development Scotland is a finalist at this year’s GO Awards Scotland, which takes place on Tuesday 23rd October at Marriott Hotel, Glasgow.

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