News from our Head of Business Development
3SC are always looking for new opportunities that might be of interest to third sector providers and are currently exploring a number of opportunities. I think it is fair to say that the Brexit vote caught the Government by surprise and resulted in delay in a number of initiatives. This and the run off of contracts like the DWP’s Work programme, made 2016 a challenging year for all of us. However towards the end of the year commissioning activity picked up and the pipeline of possible opportunity is looking healthy.
There is a range of tenders that we are currently active on and are developing supply chains to help us deliver. The big opportunity that we are currently working on is the DWP Work and Health Programme – this is the new national programme that the DWP is commissioning in 5 lots nationally. Prime providers with a place on the DWP’s umbrella agreement are currently involved in a bidding process. The first stage of this is complete and will result in 3 organisations per lot being invited to engage in competitive dialogue. The competitive dialogue process begins in April and will continue over the summer resulting in a successful bidder being announced in the autumn. It is during this competitive dialogue that bidders will develop their model and finalise their arrangements with supply chains. We are talking to many of the potential primes and hope to be in a position to seek delivery organisations to join our supply chain when these opportunities develop.
Running alongside the National DWP tender there are separate processes being run by the devolved administrations in Greater Manchester and London. These processes are running on a slightly different time line but follow the same approach of initial bids followed by a competitive dialogue over the summer. We are working with a number of organisations on potential bids and hope to work with many delivery organisations across the summer months to crystallise our offer.
Looking forward, there are some opportunities that we are starting to think about and these include:
DWP Mental Health Support – The DWP plan to put the national mental health service that they provide to people who have progressed into the work place. We expect this to be procured in the summer but to date there is no real detail.
MOJ – Prison Education – The MOJ have published a PIN outlining their intention to tender the prison education service this year. The service will change considerably and will be under the direct control of local prison governors. We expect this to provide opportunities to develop service that are very focused on employability and actively preparing prisoners for their release.