The States Procurement team has been working to remove hurdles local businesses face when applying for tenders.
The Guernsey Construction Forum had a successful meeting with representatives from two States’ bodies to discuss future projects and keep more spending on-island.
The Construction Industry Forum (CIF) was rebranded and re-modelled earlier this year as the Guernsey Construction Forum and has been working on “involving local businesses in the conversation”.
Pictured: Large future construction projects could see local businesses partner with larger visiting firms, so skills can be developed and kept in the island.
“We’re getting sight of the bigger projects,” said Chair of the GCF and CEO of Norman Piette, John Bampkin.
“It has been a good start and there has been a lot of willingness to get involved from the States."
Mr Bampkin and other members of the forum met with the Head of Education Projects, Education Resources and Estates Management, Ashley Dupre, and Procurement Director, Simon Steele, to discuss the work being done since the GCF rebranded.
Local businesses have historically been disadvantaged in several areas before the tender process even begins for projects in Guernsey.
For example, there used to be an insistence that businesses had to have experience in similar projects, such as building a school or hospital, within the last five years; something most local contractors do not have experience in.
“The simplified tender process means this is no longer the case,” said Mr Bampkin. “It used to be weighted against local businesses, but the Procurement Team has now removed this requirement.”
Pictured: “We’re getting sight of bigger projects so we can prepare,” said Mr Bampkin.
Other steps are being taken to keep local businesses at the forefront of all tender process, including; looking for early contractor involvement, more visibility on minor works being planned and utilising partnerships to develop on island skills.
Partnering a local firm with a UK contractor is another new initiative which Mr Bampkin commended, as it allows specialists to come in and share their experience with local contractors, building a bigger and more varied on-island skill base.
Additionally, with an eye on the future, apprenticeships can be developed with the colleges to make sure we’re upskilling the right people in the right areas.
“We’re making sure we’ve got the skills to cope with any future project,” said Mr Bampkin.
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