engage magazine issue 003 \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'07 - Page 57

SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES 57 Changes in Regeneration The key objectives of the event were to encourage local and minority SMEs to: • Find out about our work and network presentations by our Development Director and Maintenance department provided an overview of the business and the contracts that would be available in the coming year. Staff were on hand to network with the small businesses. • Find out about live contract opportunities - small groups met with staff to have a more informal discussion around what contracts were available in regards to tendering for work with us and how SMEs could apply. • Provide the SMEs with a taster session - in completing the PreQualification Questionnaire (PQQ) Nichols Employment Agency (NEA) provided an overview of what would be expected. We also gave the attendees an opportunity to attend a 1-day training event on completing the PQQs which was delivered by NEA. • Capture information on SMEs - to assist us in gaining an understanding of SMEs business and barriers to compete for work. The information gained will enable us to devise our policy on SMEs procurement. The information has been loaded onto a database so we can inform them of future events, tender opportunities and evaluate their requirements to enable them to grow. We wanted to ensure we had a good representation from all the minority communities in particular BAME, women and people with disabilities; we worked with Nicholls Agency to make sure this happened. Advertorials were placed in specialist and minority press and local business agencies were contacted. The result was over 150 businesses came along a majority being from an ethnic minority background. We believe the success of this evening was down to the fact that the contracts available were live. In our promotional work we specified that: “We would particularly like to hear from organisations led by black, minority ethnic people, women or people with disabilities, who are under represented in construction work generally.” And that ‘All businesses will be provided with help and advice in tendering for the contracts’ Following the event we had 31 (19%) of SMEs sign up for the 1-day training on how to complete the PQQs. This was delivered by NEA and received excellent feedback including: ‘A good foundation to build on’ ‘The course has given me confidence and hope’ ‘I learned so much of this (on the) course it made me see the light’ The first stage of the tendering process for our Maintenance contracts is now complete and we have had over 160 PQQs received. We are now at the stage where we are assessing these and will be inviting successful applicants to complete a full tender. We recognise this is only the beginning and we have a long way to go but are committed to our aspirations of having our suppliers reflect our local communities and contribute to our local economic sustainability. Consultants, & Maintenance Builders, we need YOU If you are a small to medium sized consu ltant or contractor specialising in electrical or refurbishm building, plumbing, ent work, and would like to nd out more, then come to our event on: Date: Monday 27 Nove mber 2006 Time: 5.30pm to 8.30p m Venue: Old Town Hall, Stratford E15 4BQ Contractors At East Thames we have and maintenance cont building worth £30,000 to £1m racts available, plus, per year. 0140-NOV06 £30,000+ contracts available We can tell you more about the work availa ble with FREE advice on how to bid for it. We would particularly like to hear from organ isatio led by black, minority or ethnic people, wome ns or people with disab n, ilities. RSVP to Marsha John: training@east-thames.c or telephone: 020 8536 o.uk 8795. To nd out more about East association in East Londo Thames Group - the leading housing n and Essex - visit www. east-thames.co.uk THAMES For further information, contact Marsha John at: East Thames, 3 Tramway Avenue, Stratford, London E15 4PN Web: www.east-thames.co.uk “It was a fantastic turnout and we were delighted that so many local businesses are interested in bidding for the work available. There are all sizes of contracts available, from £30,000 to more than £1m, so there really is something for everyone. We now look forward to developing the links we built up on the night and ensuring local people have the opportunity to bid for the work.” Geoff Pearce, Group Director of Development and Asset Management ISSUE THREE 2007 engage