Published date: 13 July 2020

Last edited date: 7 August 2020

Closed early engagement

Closing date: 31 August 2020

Contract summary


  • Education and training services - 80000000

Location of contract

Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands, South West

Procurement reference

Digital and Technical Skills Training

Published date

13 July 2020

Closing date

31 August 2020

Contract is suitable for SMEs?


Contract is suitable for VCSEs?



DfE is considering procurement of organisations including employers, local authorities and providers in Leeds City Region, Heart of the South West and D2N2, to test the delivery of a new training model to provide specialist digital skills training in the first instance to fill digital skills shortage vacancies.

The partnerships should design and deliver approximately 12 week training courses to provide a pipeline of individuals linked to guaranteed interviews with employers. As part of the proposal, employers will be expected to show what cash or in-kind contribution (including guaranteed interviews as a minimum) they will make. We anticipate that at least 75% of all trainees will move into a new job or role.

A virtual supplier event will be held on 21 July to provide more detail and a chance to ask questions about the opportunity. We aim to award up to 3 contracts (1 per area) to partner organisations consisting of local employers, digital/ICT training providers, local authorities and the FE sector to evidence digital skills shortage vacancies and design and deliver approximately 12 week training courses to provide a pipeline of individuals to fill those roles (when possible we will expand to include other technical skills).

The partnership will be linked into local networks and intelligence; if these links are not demonstrated bids will not be successful.

A successful bid will show how:
• Employers are represented and leading on what training is delivered
• Employers have set out their recruitment needs
• Guaranteed interviews are secured as an outcome
• There is cash and/or in-kind support from recruiting employers
• How underrepresented groups and those with protected characteristics will be engaged and recruited to the training programmes
• Participants recruited will be adults 19+ in work or recently unemployed
• Proposed costs of training are determined, including how costs could be reduced through scaling up, whilst maintaining quality
• % alignment with apprenticeship occupational standards where available
• Training will be delivered flexibly around other commitments including work, job seeking and caring
• Participating organisations and individuals will commit to participate in user research and evaluation.

Bids must detail the cash and/or in-kind contribution that employers will make, examples could include work experience or support with CVs, interview skills and other interpersonal skills - we are interested in ideas around this.

This model will deliver training that meets employer's immediate needs in a pre-employment phase, de-risking the recruitment process for them.

More information


Additional text

Mandatory Requirement: Partnership working is important to us, we expect bidders to form a partnership including representatives from all of the following organisations: employers, digital/ICT training providers, local authorities and the publicly funded Further Education sector.
If there is no evidence of this partnership working, bids will not be successful. Any one of the partners can be the lead organisation. The lead organisation will submit the bid on behalf of the partnership and will act as the co-ordinating body; partners will determine the roles they all play as part of the bidding process.

**IMPORTANT** The procurement will be run using DfE's Education and Children's Social Care (ECSC) Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS). Please ensure that you are fully registered on the Redimo2 system and accepted onto the DPS in order to see the opportunity. Registration may take up to two weeks. If you are not FULLY registered onto the DPS and have selected your category codes by the publication date (Aug 2020) you will not be able to bid.

We will be using the following Category Codes: ECSC02, ECSC 04, ECSC08, ECSC09, ECSC10, ECSC14, ECSC15. Only suppliers who have selected one or more of those codes PRIOR TO OPPORTUNITY LAUNCH will be able to view and bid on this opportunity.

We are interested in partnerships that have expertise and experience across all the following qualifying criteria:
- building and maintaining employer networks
- designing training solutions that meet employer requirements (expected level 3-5 equivalent)
- Able to demonstrate a track record of high-quality training delivery
- Track record of recruiting suitable trainees using open, transparent and fair methods
- flexible delivery to suit individual needs and current conditions
- management practises to track and report trainee destination at various time points for evaluation purposes
- management practises to co-ordinate employer's guaranteed interviews and report on outcomes for evaluation purposes

We will not accept bids from organisations where both of the following are true:
(a) they do not have experience across all of these essential areas individually;
(b) they are unwilling to form a partnership or consortia to cover all of these essential areas collectively.
We are keen to understand how these training courses align with Occupational Standards where available and encourage bids to describe the alignment. We anticipate that any successful provider(s) will deliver from December/January 2021 expect delivery to last approximately 12 weeks.
The funding available to each area will depend on proposals from bidders, it will be calculated on how many people they would train to meet the demand they have identified. We anticipate that at least 75% of all trainees will move into a new job or role.

About the buyer


Sanctuary Buildings, 20 Great Smith Street