The UK spends £178bn on public procurement each year. Scotland sees this as a great opportunity to invest in UK’s struggling economy. They’ve created Crown Commercial Service, Major Projects Authority, and several other initiatives to help with social and economic growth. Scotland is setting an example for other countries through their public procurement strategy. However, there is still a lot more that needs to be done. Other countries in the UK also need to get on board.
Scotland recently held a conference for procurement specialists. It attracted a lot of attention with attendance by more than 500 procurement personnel. That’s more than most public procurement events get in areas where procurement spend is a lot greater. Of course, public procurement alone is not enough to turn around the UK’s economic crisis. However, it’s an important starting point. Procurement personnel in Scotland are changing the way they approach procurement by turning to the public.
One of the procurement initiatives being implemented by Scotland’s government is Scotrail franchise. It encourages employers to pay employees better wages to create a more motivated and satisfied workforce. Scotland’s government is also pushing employers to use local businesses for procurement as much as possible instead of outsourcing to other countries. This is particularly true for their manufacturing sector. Yes, it may cost a little more to make products in the UK than third-world countries, but it boosts the overal economy in the UK. More training and apprenticeship programs are also being created to boost the workforce.
A lot of things still need to happen before the UK’s economy turns around. Scotland is implementing a procurement strategy that emphasizes their social, environmental, and economic priorities. Public procurement is a major step towards their success, but there is still a long ways it needs to go.