Industry News

BS: As the government looks to all organisations to do more with less, the Efficiency and Reform Group has made it clear that aggregation is a key enabler of savings in the procurement of common goods & services. The Government Procurement Card (GPC) helps organisations to achieve process efficiencies and greater transparency of spend, so if you are not already using GPC, Buying Solutions would encourage you to consider doing so in order to deliver significant savings for your organisation.  
The first aggregated procurement for GPC is now well underway involving a number of organisations from across the public sector, and we’d like to invite you to consider taking part in the second phase which we plan will be awarded in June 2011. If you are interested, please respond by 11 February 2011 by email to:
Press release ~ Government Procurement Card (GPC)
BS: Price reductions on Project Management and Full Design Team Services and Technical Assurance Services framework agreements. Buying Solutions’ Property Solutions team have negotiated price reductions with the majority of suppliers on the above framework agreements.  Revised fee schedules are now available on the website (customers must be logged in to view these rates).   
Press release ~ Project Management and Full Design Team Services rates ~ Technical Assurance Services rates
HSEHealth & safety consultants are being invited to sign up to a new independent register from 31 January 2011 that is intended to become a new benchmark for standards in the profession. The Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR) is being set up in response to recommendations in the Government-commissioned report on the UK health & safety system − Common Sense Common Safety.
OSHCR has been established by a number of professional bodies representing general safety & occupational health consultants across the UK, with support from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The register (which is voluntary) is open to individuals who provide commercial advice on general health & safety management issues and who meets certain standards (see press release). The application fee will be £60, but applications received by 30 April 2011 will be subject to a discounted fee of £30.
The fee, which is non-refundable, covers the cost of processing the application and is payable annually on renewal of registration.  Individuals who apply to join the register during the discounted period will be given a registration renewal date of 30 April 2012.
Press release ~ Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR) ~ Common Sense Common Safety

LDA: The London Development Agency is planning to market the Royal Docks at the international property fair MIPIM in March 2011 as the biggest development opportunity in London. The LDA's promotion of the Royal Docks will be supported by two new reports.  The 'Parameters for Development' and 'Spatial Framework' will add details to the 'Vision for the Royal Docks', which was published in July 2010 by the LDA and London Borough of Newham.
Press release ~ Royal Docks
EA: The Environment Agency recently unveiled plans for tailored flood warning services to be developed to better prepare utility providers, emergency services, insurers, retail & transport companies for flooding. From now on, organisations are able obtain licences to use live EA flood warning data to develop specialised flood warning products & services.  
The EA hopes that these will help operators take more effective action to protect crucial assets from potential flooding and maintain essential services.  The EA recently announced that developers are already using its live flood warning data to develop a huge range of products, including smart phone applications for the public. For further information or to register interest in accessing the data, contact EA Commercial Services or call 08708 506 506.
Press release ~ Exercise Watermark ~ Further information on flooding
MoD: The MOD has announced that it will develop 6 regional capital works frameworks for construction projects valued below £12m and one national framework for higher value projects, more complex projects and cross-region programmes up to a value of £50m, under its Next Generation Estate Contracts (NGEC) programme.  Industry is now invited to submit expressions of interest, marking the start of the procurement process for these new commercial arrangements.
 Press release ~ Photos and related articles
DWP: The Government is teaming up with the British Chambers of Commerce to launch the first of 6 new Enterprise Clubs in Merseyside, Employment Minister, Chris Grayling announced last week. The aim is to encourage business groups around the country to form similar clubs where unemployed people setting up new small businesses can access professional advice & guidance that they might not otherwise be able to afford, and also to share experience and build stronger local networks among new businesses.
Press release ~ New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) – Background information
ScotGov: Scotland's Skills Minister, Angela Constance, visited fictional soap town Shieldinch on the RiverCity set last week to launch a new TV production skills project to further boost the £5.2bn creative industries sector. Skills Development Scotland (SDS), BBC Scotland, media and entertainment trade union BECTU and Skillset have come together to support budding TV producers to receive the skills & experience needed to succeed in Scotland's creative industry.
The 2-year partnership project will inject more than £500,000 into the industry - which currently employs more than 60,000 people - and will provide Scots producers with the opportunity to build on their existing knowledge and gain crucial additional skills & experience to help them become industry leaders of the future.
Press release ~ Skills Development Scotland ~ River City set
Serco gifts £400,000 for care worker apprenticeships