Social value

Sandwell Council looks to award work to suppliers who not only provide the most economically advantageous service, but who go beyond their basic contract terms in securing wider benefits for the community. Here are resources to help you understand and implement social value in your work. 

About the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012

The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 says that public authorities are required to “have regard to economic, social and environmental well-being in connection with public services contracts; and for connected purposes”.

Sandwell Council has long subscribed to a similar ethos, so it welcomed the Act when it came into force.

You can download this simple chart to get an idea about social value outcomes in a social, economic and environmental sense: Social Value Outcomes_v1_October 2017.

Our Communities_social value input

What does the need for social value mean for your tender?

When responding to a tender you will be asked to set out any additional benefits you can deliver that will help Sandwell economically, socially and environmentally.

For its part, Sandwell Council will ensure that requirements are realistic, proportionate and achievable within the scope of your contract. It is important that social value benefits don’t jeopardise your success in delivering a service or contract.

What does this mean for your contract?

You will need to meet key performance areas, which might include creating local employment opportunities or apprenticeships; engaging with schools; supporting people with disabilities; engaging with the voluntary sector or providing support to a local business enterprise, and so on.

There are many possibilities for supporting the local community – and these key performance areas will always be agreed before the contract is awarded. Sandwell Council’s Social Value Impact Officer (see below) will help you with implementation and monitoring.

How does social value differ from corporate social responsibility?

The terms social value and corporate social responsibility (CSR, or corporate responsibility as it is sometimes known) are sometimes used interchangeably. However, in the context of working with Sandwell Council, social value refers to a contractual agreement between client and supplier.

Corporate responsibility is very important too! If you want ideas on ‘giving back’ to people and the planet, Let’s Go Sandwell outlines volunteering opportunities in the borough, for individuals and businesses.

Creating Social Value

How can Sandwell Council help you implement social value?

Sandwell Council can:

* Help you engage with the local community in creating relevant employment and training initiatives
* Share information about Sandwell’s local communities in both a geographical and demographic sense
* Help you target and recruit people from priority groups in order to give them work experience opportunities
* Facilitate engagement with local schools (so you could support careers events and CV writing, for example) and share with them information about what your business does
* Help you to set up apprenticeship vacancies
* Support you in advertising vacancies and recruiting local people (see Think Sandwell’s recruitment services)
* Help you to identify and engage with appropriate partner organisations to ensure you achieve your goals and commitments.

How Think Sandwell can help

We can give you information about adding social value as part of your CSR practice or your social value commitment under a contractual agreement. Contact Think Sandwell’s Social Value Impact Officer Karen Richards via karen_richards@sandwell.gov.uk.

Think Sandwell also offers a range of services from recruitment to apprenticeship support. If you’re a first-time employer, we can help ensure you have everything in place to make the process run smoothly. Read more on our recruitment and training page or contact us via our form.

Useful links

Sandwell Council is a member of the WMCA Social Value Taskforce, working to ensure a social value approach is adopted throughout our region to maximise the benefits of projects and developments on communities and the local economy. 

Social Value Portal

www.socialvalueportal.com allows organisations to measure and manage the contribution they make (and the contribution their supply chain makes) to society.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/social-value-act-information-and-resources/social-value-act-information-and-resources gives government information and resources relating to the Social Value Act.

Social Value UK

www.socialvalueuk.org is a national network for people who are interested in social value and social impact.

This page was last updated in April 2021.

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