Tackling Poverty Through Public Procurement

Posted in: General News

Can we reduce poverty through public procurement?

This research (from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation) looks at whether rising poverty and declining social mobility can be tackled by including more recruitment and training opportunities in public contracts, such as construction projects.

It also highlights projects around the UK which have successfully used public procurement to address poverty through training and employment.


Key points:

Significant impacts on poverty and social mobility would be achieved if the entire UK public sector pledged to generate a year’s work for a person from a target disadvantaged community for each £1m in contract value.

With reductions in welfare budgets and continuing public spending cuts, it is essential that public expenditure is used throughout the UK to reduce unemployment, poverty and welfare costs. Recruiting local people from disadvantaged groups involves little or no extra cost, boosts the local economy and benefits contractors, who get a skilled and committed workforce.

Social enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises face barriers in competing for larger contracts, despite being good at delivering social and community benefits. Providing smaller ‘lots’ within large public contracts will increase the opportunities for smaller enterprises to tender successfully.

Download the summary or full report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation website.