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Thursday, 1 September 2016

Council offers free training to boost local businesses

 

Cheshire East Council is to hold a series of free workshops to help business people learn how to win public sector contracts.

The award-winning procurement training events are being provided by the Council’s arms-length Skills and Growth Company and are targeted at local businesses, charities and social enterprises.

The aim is to show small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) how to ‘get started’ in the bid process and how to produce a tender for local and central government work. The workshops are suitable for businesses new to the tendering process or looking to improve how they tender. 

Councillor Paul Findlow, Cheshire East Cabinet member for corporate policy and legal services, said: “Tendering for a public sector contract can be a rather daunting prospect and these free workshops provide excellent guidance to help businesses develop their bids.

“We are always interested in receiving tenders from local businesses and organisations and these workshops can significantly help to simplify and demystify the process.

“We are keen to support local firms and businesses and work to ensure as many services as possible are provided locally. As a local authority, we are committed to working with others to deliver quality services and value for money for the people of Cheshire East.

“We want to encourage even more local businesses to get involved in working with not only Cheshire East Council but also other public sector bodies.

“It is vitally important, as more than £300bn of services are procured by the public sector each year, with Cheshire East spending in the region of £260m of public money annually on contracts, supplies and services with third parties.”

The latest procurement workshops, which aim to cover the whole process from start to finish, are:

Let’s get started – on Wednesday, October 12, 2016;

The ‘invitation to tender’ process – on Wednesday, October 19, 2016.

The first workshop is an introduction to the tendering process, which will show how the framework for public sector tendering operates, how to navigate it and how to prepare for tendering opportunities.

The second workshop will explain the best-practice procedures and structures that you should put in place in your organisation to make sure your bids are as professional as possible and also how working in consortia can provide further opportunities.

The free workshops are conducted by award-winning Melanie Bryan, from WhyNotChange – an organisation which helps businesses tender for public sector contracts. Melanie won the best social enterprise partnership award in the Prime Minister’s Big Society Awards 2011.

Both workshops will take place at Manchester Metropolitan University, Crewe Green Road, Crewe, CW1 5DU. Each event starts with refreshments and bacon rolls at 7.45am for a prompt 8am start. The sessions finish at 11am.

Places are strictly limited and businesses are advised to attend both events in order to get the most benefit and understand the whole process.

To book a place on the latest workshops, contact Cheshire East Council on 0300 123 5001 or email business@skillsandgrowth.co.uk

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