Agenda item

UKSPF - Inclusive Employment and Skills

To approve the appointment of the Council as a sub-contractor of the Prime Contractor appointed by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority  in relation to the delivery of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund - E33 – Employment support for economically inactive people.


The Cabinet considered a report of the Deputy Chief Executive (Place) that sought approval of the appointment of the Council as a sub-contractor of the Prime Contractor appointed by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) in relation to the delivery of the UKSPF (UK Shared Prosperity Fund) - E33 – Employment support for economically inactive people.


The report explained that a Prime Contractor was currently being commissioned by GMCA to deliver the UKSPF Employment and Skills programme to support those residents that are economically inactive described as “E33 – Employment support for economically inactive people”. The provision is part of the wider UKSPF programme to increase life chances of Greater Manchester residents, with the economically inactive element to increase participation in activity, which could then lead to progression in education, skills, and employment.


The commission is out to tender and was due to be awarded mid October 2023, with a requirement for the Prime Contractor to begin delivery of the programme within 28 working days. The Council was aware that the following organisations were likely to submit a bid for the role of Prime Contractor: Seetec, The Growth Company, Ingeus and Serco. It was anticipated that one of these organisations would be successful.


The Council’s Get Oldham Working service has been in negotiation with each of the above-mentioned organisations to be part of their supply chain should they successfully be appointed by GMCA. If one of the four organisations is appointed and the Council is offered a sub-contract to deliver part of the programme, officers will need to act quickly. Therefore, the Council needed to be in a position to agree to enter into a sub-contract with the appointed Prime Contractor for the delivery of part of the programme, subject to advice from Legal Services, Information governance and information security approval.  The programme will complete in March 2025 which was forcing a short mobilisation period.


Each of the potential Prime Contractor had, in principle, offered a sub-contract to the Council to deliver support to 350 residents that are economically inactive, and the Council would be paid approximately £500k for such delivery. GOW is well placed to deliver the service, as it is already engaging with many economically inactive residents, has qualified and experienced staff and implements its delivery in line with Council values and behaviours putting residents first. Accepting a role as sub-contractor to the Prime Contractor will also provide contingency for staff at GOW who currently work on other contracts that are coming to an end, ensuring no redundancies are required next financial year.


Options/alternatives considered:

Option 1: not accept a role as sub-contractor and leave other partners to deliver- not preferred as would have reputational damage to the Council, GOW brand and delivery with partners. Also, not aware of another local provider well placed to deliver leaving a risk that Oldham may not get its fair share of resource and activity across the GM commission.

Option 2: Agree to accept a sub-contract for the Council through GOW to deliver the services detailed in this report as part the supply chain of the winning Prime Contractor. This will support our residents first approach, enable GOW and the council to not make redundancies for exiting staff working on other contracts coming to an end and ensure we can work towards exceeding on contractual volumes and get more for Oldham residents across the GM commission.



1.    That the Cabinet notes that due to the short contract lifetime (approximately mid November 2023 to 31 March 2025), that it is a requirement of GMCA’s commission that Prime Contractors must mobilise and commence delivery of the commissioned activity within 28 days of contract award.

2.    That the Cabinet Authorises the Council via GOW to accept and act in the role of sub-contractor to whichever Prime Contractor is appointed by GMCA to deliver the UKSPF (UK Shared Prosperity Fund) - E33 – Employment support for economically inactive people, subject to advice being taken from Legal Services on the terms and conditions of any appointment and from Information Governance and Information Security.

3.    The Cabinet delegates authority to the Deputy Chief Executive (Place) and Director of Economy to agree and authorise the form of sub-contract proposed by the appointed Prime Contractor, subject to due diligence from a legal, information governance and information security point of view which will be assessed once a contract has been provided.

4.    The Cabinet delegates authority to the Director of Legal Services or his nominees to carry out all legal formalities.

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