Training services are a major area of investment for the Government. The Conservative government elected at the General Election in December 2019 will announce its spending plans in the Budget in March 2020. Training and education are expected to be a key area of focus. With more investment and allocated budget in this area, there will be more UK training tenders opportunities for businesses that offer training and education services.

This is encouraging news for organisations looking to grow their business in this market in the years ahead. With thousands of UK training tenders being published every month, now is the time to explore your opportunities in training tenders.

What are training tenders?

Training tenders are an extremely lucrative market. In 2019, 4.2% of total UK GDP was spent on education. According to the 2019 annual report undertaken by the Institute for Fiscal Studies on education spending in England, education formed the second-largest element of public service spending in the UK, behind only the health sector. The sheer size of the market should give businesses looking to work in this sector a real indication of the wealth of opportunities on offer, in the following areas:

  • Primary and secondary education
  • Medical and safety education
  • Health and first aid training
  • Educational software
  • E-learning services and solutions
  • Vocational training and education
  • Training and simulation for defence
  • Training aids and equipment

Training opportunities for SMEs

In the high-paced technological environment of today, the Government wants to ensure that the UK is fully up to speed with the latest technology and is continually advancing its modern processes. For this reason, it is keen to enlist the help of SMEs with specialist knowledge through training tenders.

The latest investment in education and training

The most up to date news on investment in education and training comes from the Conservative manifesto, published in the lead-up to the General Election in 2019. The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced an extra £14 billion in funding for schools, which translates to roughly £150 million more a week. £4.3 billion of this will be allocated to England for 2022-23, and the rest distributed across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Other key statistics worth noting include:

  • The Government has allocated an extra £300 million for further education colleges and sixth forms for 2020-21. This will lead to increases in real terms per pupil of over 4% than recent years.
  • Spending on adult education and training is increasingly focused on apprenticeships. Since the early 2000s, government spend on adult education and apprenticeships has dramatically increased by around 54% equating to billions of pounds more each year. In the Conservative manifesto, it stated that the Government’s investments in this area has generated more than 3.8 million more apprenticeships and technical qualifications since 2010.
  • The Conservative manifesto also included information about the launch of a new National Skills Fund worth £3 billion, which will provide matching funding for individuals and SMEs for high-quality education and training. This fund will be developed in the course of the current Parliament, with more information due to be included in the Budget in March.
  • School spending per pupil is highest in Scotland and lowest in Northern Ireland. Total school spending per pupil was about £6,600 in Scotland in 2018-19, which is £600 higher than spending per pupil in England (£6,000), with spending per pupil in Wales £200 lower at £5,800. Spending is lowest in Northern Ireland, at £5,500 per pupil. Figures like these indicate the comparative nature of opportunities based on regions of the UK.

*All these statistics are accurate at the time of publication.

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Every year, the UK government spends around £284 billion acquiring goods, works and services from suppliers. The public sector procurement market is an attractive market to supply in, because not only is work constantly required, but the government has specific initiatives in place to support SMEs to win business. If you want to win government tenders, Supply2Gov can help.

If you haven’t done so already, read our blog on ‘5 reasons you should bid for UK government tenders’ to give you a wider context on government tenders, then come back here for top tips to help you structure your bid and get ready to tender.

Introduce your organisation and what you do

It has never been easier to become a government supplier, and we are not just saying that. The government is continually striving to make the application process quicker and easier so that public sector procurement is more accessible and fairer for everyone. Your chances of winning government tenders are slim if government buyers do not know who you are. Introduce your organisation and your goods, works or services to potential government buyers as early as you can. Then, conduct market research in your field to understand what your competitors are doing and pinpoint what sets you apart from them. Your first point of call when starting your research should be signing up to Supply2Gov’s tender alerts and filtering government tender opportunities based on the geographical location you want to supply in.

Offer innovative solutions to buyers’ problems

The main difference between SMEs and larger organisations is their size. Therefore, smaller organisations should play to the strengths their size gives them – the ability to be innovative, sustainable and offer intelligent solutions to complex problems government suppliers have. The government is always looking for buyers that can add more than just cost-effective procurement. Give evidence showing how your organisation has used technology to reduce waste. Show how you have helped wider communities by giving apprenticeship or training opportunities to young people. Do all of this for the most cost-effective price and your organisation will have a great chance of winning the contract.

Look for sub-contracting opportunities

Many SMEs win government work through another larger contractor via the supply chain. A large organisation may win the contract, but that does not mean they will deliver all aspects of it. SMEs can contact the main supplier to find out whether there are sub-contracting opportunities available. This is seen as a valuable way for smaller businesses to establish relationships, win public sector business and build credentials.

Start low, aim high

The quickest way to build a government customer base is to aim for government tender opportunities that are below £100,000. For these low value contracts, the government has removed the requirement for Pre-Qualification Questionnaires (PQQs). This simplifies the application process, which works in SMEs’ favour. Use smaller contracts to build up your experience working for government and set yourself in a good position for winning bigger contracts in the future.

Ask for feedback

Any tenderer, whether successful or unsuccessful is entitled to ask for feedback, which can be very helpful for bidders looking to learn what they could do better in future. The Crown Commercial Service encourages unsuccessful applicants to ask for feedback. This is to ensure potential suppliers, especially SMEs, get the information they need to improve their bid responses and have a better chance of winning business next time. Ask the government buyer to outline your strengths and weaknesses and use this to improve your next pitch. Remember, even if you win the bid, it is still good practice to seek feedback – there is always room for improvement.

How Supply2Gov can help you win government tenders

Supply2Gov helps SMEs and first-time tenderers win business in public sector procurement. With a free tender alert service for one geographical location, plus the option to upgrade to a wider range of tender alerts for just £25, Supply2Gov is an absolute essential service to win government tenders in the near future. Why not see how we can help you?

Sign up for government tenders

The UK government spends billions of pounds every year buying goods, works and services from external suppliers in the process we know as procurement. Procurement in the public sector is a great way to grow your business and raise your profile in the supply chain. Supply2Gov supports businesses of all sizes to win public sector contracts, including government tenders in the UK.

Here’s five reasons why your organisation should strongly consider bidding for government tenders. When your organisation is ready to tender, read our top tips for winning government tenders.

1. Government constantly requires a vast array of business services and solutions

Whether you’re selling consulting services, food and drink supplies, garden landscaping or PR support, the UK government is sure to require and buy what your business offers. In fact, it is highly likely that government will buy what your business has to offer on more than one occasion. There are billions of pounds worth of contracts up for grabs every year, all to be spent with businesses like yours.

2. The UK government has set ambitious targets to help SMEs grow

Central government has set itself a target of spending £1 in every £3 on SMEs in its procurement activities by 2022. This initiative was introduced in 2015 to help boost the economy and represents a huge opportunity for small businesses looking to grow.

3. The public sector procurement process is simpler and quicker than ever

Government has been making a sustained effort to support SMEs to win more business. New legislation introduced in the last five years has included the requirement that all organisations in the supply chain must comply with government 30-day payment terms, including suppliers and sub-contractors. Most central government departments are meeting this target, with 80% of suppliers in most cases being paid within five days. Pre-selection questionnaires have also been abolished for low-value contracts, saving SMEs valuable time and resource when bidding. These examples show the procurement process is becoming more friendly to smaller businesses; it is important that SMEs are making the most of this opportunity.

4. There are ‘meet the buyer’ events across the UK to encourage early market engagement

Events like these provide SMEs with the opportunity to talk to government departments about their upcoming plans and projects. They are also an opportunity for government buyers to learn about your services and products, and how you can offer something different from other suppliers. Meeting directly with important decision makers is one of the most effective ways to win in the government tendering market, so make sure you note these events in your diary. Departments will advertise these events on their respective pages on www.gov.uk.

5. Government framework agreements can help you become a preferred contractor

You can compete to join a government ‘framework agreement’ specific to the goods and services you offer, such as IT solutions, health services or vehicle parts. If successful, your business will become a preferred government contractor. (Although there will be further competition for contracts, they will only be open to businesses on the framework.) Plus, it means your business will be viewed as trustworthy and reliable when you bid for government tenders in the future. You can find more information about government framework agreements at www.gov.uk/ccs.

Start winning government tenders

Is your business ready to start bidding for government tenders? Your next step is to sign up for Supply2Gov’s tender alerts in government contracts. From there, we’ll make sure you have all the tender documentation you need in order to start bidding.

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Since the UK voted to leave the European Union in the Brexit referendum in 2016, it has been a turbulent time in and for the UK Government. The political division that arose as a result of the referendum has meant that public and private sectors across the UK have slowed down, sped up, or in some cases, suffered no real impact at all. This may be about to change.

With the Conservative Party winning a large majority at the December 2019 General Election, the elected UK Government is set to be more stable than it has been in recent years, and the UK now seems set to depart the EU on 31 January.

This is set to have a huge impact on how sectors across the UK perform in 2020. The start of 2020 has already seen the announcement that the first Budget since the General Election will take place on 11 March. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, indicated that environmental issues and infrastructure would be two areas of priority in the upcoming government budget.

We take a closer look at what sectors are tipped for success and how businesses looking to climb the procurement ladder this year can get involved with Supply2Gov’s help.

Healthcare

The NHS is expected to be a huge talking point when the Government announces its Budget in March. Public funding is expected to increase in areas including social care, recruitment (up to 50,000 more nurses), public health and investment in artificial intelligence technology to detect emerging diseases in patients.

Throughout the Conservative party’s election campaign, Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated many times that the NHS would receive a £34 billion funding increase. If this were to happen, this would ease current NHS pressures and transform the opportunity for businesses looking to work in the healthcare sector. The manifesto also stated the promise of building 40 new hospitals over the next ten years – another potential opportunity for the construction sector as well as all those involved in equipping them.

The Spending Round in 2019 stated that adult social care alone would receive an additional £1 billion which would be available for local councils in 2020/21. This is an increase of 3.4 per cent in real terms and will help adult social care services to meet the rising demand.

Whilst these figures may be expected to change in the Budget in March, this is an exciting time to find work in the healthcare sector. Find out more about finding healthcare tenders that are right for your business.

Construction and Infrastructure

Infrastructure is a key area of growth going into 2020. Sajid Javid said that there will be an infrastructure revolution under way after the Budget announcement in March.

This may not be surprising, given the Conservative Manifesto in the December 2019 General Election allowed room for £100 billion additional funding for new infrastructure projects, including £2 billion for fixing potholes and £2.2 billion for a public sector carbon reduction scheme. This is great news for businesses wanting to tap into construction tenders or supply chain opportunities provided through over £100 billion of investment. Key areas expected to benefit are the North of England and the Midlands, with the development of high-speed rail projects like the Northern Powerhouse Rail.

Defence and security

The UK Ministry of Defence fared pretty well in the Spending Round of 2019. An additional £2.2 billion was given to the budget, with £1.9 billion of that for 2020-21. These funds will go towards pension contributions, continued development of a nuclear-powered submarine and ship-building plans. Cyber security is also an integral part of the future of defence, with the advancement of AI protecting against new cyber threats.

As ever, NATO remains a huge factor in the UK’s defence and security plans. In 2017, the UK was the second highest spender in NATO, spending 2.1% of global GDP per year. Under the Conservative government, the UK is set to continue to exceed the NATO target of 2%.

The opportunities for business across defence are massive and diverse, and small businesses across the UK are vital to the defence supply chain. Find out more about defence and security tenders.

The Budget is on its way

The full details of government spending will be announced in the Budget on 11 March 2020. Therefore, the information in this blog may be subject to change. Supply2Gov will keep you updated on its progress.

Find UK tenders

New to procurement and would like to find UK tenders that are relevant to your business in 2020? Supply2Gov offers a tender alerts service with no strings attached. New users can sign up for a local area subscription for free and can opt to upgrade to our UK-wide package at any point.

For more information on our packages, get started.

 

No more excuses – make sure that you are actively looking for tenders in 2020!

Our focus as always is to help you to learn the basics of Government tendering, whilst finding every unique opportunity possible.

It may sound like a cliché, but setting a goal at the beginning of the year will make you more motivated and you could end the year winning more contracts than ever before.

Read our list of New Year’s resolutions for businesses new to Government tendering below…

Improve Productivity

Whether you are a sole trader or the owner of a limited company that has been running for decades, this is a goal that every business should take into 2020.

It’s important that you have planned and prepared for the year ahead and, if you want to get started in public sector procurement, have key documentation ready and in place. This will help you to bid for opportunities more efficiently and effectively.

Highlight Your Achievements

Do not be afraid to blow your own trumpet. If you want to grow your business, make sure that you are highlighting your professional achievements.

When you are bidding for work with the public sector, you should always demonstrate how you have helped clients in the past. This will help you to sell your goods and services as it shows public sector buyers that you are both capable and experienced.

Ask for feedback

If you haven’t won work with the public sector in 2019, then why not?

Go into 2020 asking buyers why you have been unsuccessful. Public sector bodies are obliged to provide you with feedback within 15 days of your request.

Next time you find work that is relevant to your business, you will feel better prepared, and acting on feedback eliminates the chance that you may make the same mistake again.

Embrace technology

The days are long gone when a business would search for opportunities in the local newspaper. Embrace technology and halve the manual work that you are currently undertaking.

Technology is moving UK businesses forward; procurement portals like Supply2Gov can help you to find opportunities relevant to your business in specific regions. A quick and easy way to find new opportunities.

Learn about procurement

If you are new to the public sector marketplace, it will be worth your while to attend training and events in 2020.

Our parent company BiP Solutions host various events UK wide that give delegates the opportunity to attend training and networking sessions where you can learn first hand from procurement professionals. Click here to view the events calendar.

If you would prefer intensive learning, you can also book a one-day “Introduction to Procurement” course with PASS Procurement. This would be extremely valuable to enhance your knowledge of the public sector procurement process.

All Supply2Gov annual tender alert subscribers receive free tickets and discounts for events and training through their Business Growth Programme.

Whatever way you choose to learn, you can stay up to date on the Supply2Gov website. Simply visit our resources section for all the latest procurement news for micro and small businesses.

New Year, new business

Try something new in 2020. Start with a local area subscription and you can choose to expand your subscription as your business grows.

You can sign up to Supply2Gov today for free. Start looking for tenders without paying anything at all. FREE areas include Inner London – East, Greater Manchester – South, Glasgow City and Outer Belfast.

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