At the beginning of June, I went to Barcelona to attend the General Assembly of one of our EU networks, ENSIE (European Network of Social Integration Enterprises).
Social Firms England and the members of Social Firms England get a lot out of our membership – we are asked fairly regularly to nominate members to attend events and share their expertise, and it is always inspiring to meet our counterparts in other countries, and to discuss what examples of good practice can be replicated across Europe – but this time was exceptional.
The Assembly was followed by a European Seminar on Partnership and Work Integration Social Enterprises – where Barcelona City Council really stole the show.
Find Out What Happened – and What Barcelona Is Up To
You can see a photo-report of the events with links to the presentations by clicking on the image below – and there’s a really exciting development you should share with your own local authority.
Making Real Progress with Social Clauses
Social Clauses have become more significant since the introduction of the 2014 EU Directive on Public Procurement, but we all wonder how it will really work out in practice in the member states.
The social firm networks from 18 countries in the conference hall were delighted when the aptly-named Angel Miret, from Barcelona City Council showed how it could be done.
Barcelona City Council Stole the Show
Barcelona City Council have completely embraced the power of social clauses in public procurement, and incorporates social and environmental clauses into all its contracts to ensure the inclusion of job-disadvantaged people into the labour market.
Better still, they have produced a video infographic that explains this simply and easily to the public and to potential contractors.
They are clear that winning contracts is not just about offering the lowest price, but offering the best social and environmental benefits to society in general. They have three ways of ensuring this.
- Contractors are required to hire at least 5% of their staff from work disadvantaged groups on top of the legal minimum of 2% “quota” of disabled people
- Contractors are encouraged to exceed this minimum by being awarded extra points for their bid.
- Contractors must sub-contract 5% of their budget to work integration social enterprises (social firms).
My only question after his presentation was to ask if it was possible to add subtitles in English to the video, so that we could share it with local authorities in England.
And guess what – by the following Monday it was done!
Get the Message Out
We need to replicate this good practice in all councils in England.
We’ll be doing what we can – but members can influence local commissioners directly by sharing this blog and the video from Barcelona City Council.
Let us know if you want our support to get the message over in your locality; we are always happy to work with our members where they are.