Introducing UKCloud’s Social Value Partner Charter – Everything You Need to Know

In January 2021, UKCloud were awarded the Social Value Quality Mark (SVQM) Level 1 – the first tech firm in the UK to receive the award. We have since doubled down our efforts to achieve the SVQM Level 2, in recognition of our continued commitment to ‘doing the right thing’.  As a result of our efforts, we have joined a growing number of pioneering organisations that are leading the way in creating social value through how they choose to operate. As such, we are a flag bearer for the UK tech industry and continue to drive social value for the sector, the UK economy, and its citizens.

 

THE SOCIAL VALUE MODEL

We stand behind and support the government’s commitment to ‘build back better’ through job creation, skills development and retention, economic growth and prosperity, tackling climate change and levelling up the UK. These measures form the backbone of government’s Social Value Model (SVM), announced in January 2021. The new approach means greater opportunities for UKCloud partners to win government contracts.

Partners seeking to win these contracts must set out how they will deliver on government’s social value priorities, which will act as a key evaluation criterion (a minimum of 10% of the overall score) within the assessment of all central and local government department contracts.

We believe that the Social Value Model presents a genuine opportunity to improve the health, wealth and mental wellbeing of our nation – it has the potential to maximise social, economic, and environmental benefits all whilst putting UK business at the heart of a post-Brexit, post-COVID recovery strategy.

 

UKCLOUD’S SOCIAL VALUE PARTNER CHARTER

Together with the Social Value Business, UKCloud have created a Social Value Partner Charter. We believe the pledges within the charter are not just the right thing to do but make strong business sense for our partners.

Adopting a social value focus is key to addressing many of the issues we face as a nation today and will continue to face should we not take action. And it makes strong business sense owing to government contracts carrying a 10% weighting towards the implementation of social value. It’s win-win for society and solutions providers.

The pledges:

Supporting COVID-19 recovery

Helping local communities manage and recover from the impact of COVID, through the delivery of impact-driven innovative technology.

Why is it important?

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing economic and social challenges, and created many new ones. Delivering social value means providing additional benefits which can aid the recovery of local communities and economies, especially through employment, re-training and return to work opportunities, community support, developing new ways of working and supporting the health of those affected by the virus.

What do I need to consider (as per the Model Award Criteria (MAC) within the Social Value Model?

  • MAC 1.1 – Recruitment and retraining to “Build Back Better”.
    • Address the digital skills gap and building the right foundations needed to create opportunities in a high growth tech sector.
  • MAC 1.2 – Supporting people and the community to recover
    • Employee volunteering schemes applicable to your workforce.
  • MAC 1.3 – Supporting organisations and businesses to recover
    • Develop a supply chain selection process that ensures fairness (e.g. anti-corruption) and encourages participation by new and growing businesses.

 

Tackling economic inequality

Joining our efforts to create new digital jobs and skills, adding qualifications to existing workforces (part 1) as well as increasing supply chain resilience (Part 2)

Part 1 – Create new businesses, new jobs and new skills.

Why is it important?

 The Industrial Strategy sets out government’s vision to make the United Kingdom the best place to start and grow a business. It describes how government must shape our business environment to take on the challenges and opportunities of new technologies and new ways of doing business.

The strategy also describes government’s plan to help businesses create better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the United Kingdom. Developing the skill levels of the current and future workforce is the essential enabler for this. A nationwide focus on jobs and skills, especially in high growth sectors with known skills shortages, will help to narrow disparities between communities. Providing better jobs also helps employers to attract and retain the talent they need to grow and thrive.

What do I need to consider?

  • MAC 2.1 – Entrepreneurship, growth and business creation
    • Identification of opportunities to grow supplier diversity.
  • Mac 2.2 – Employment
    • Address the digital skills gap and building the right foundations needed to create opportunities.
    • Offering opportunities for work placements, work experience, apprenticeships, paid internships.
  • MAC 2.3 – Education and Training
    • Support for educational attainment, including training schemes that address skills gaps and result in recognised qualifications.

Part 2 – Increasing supply chain resilience and capacity.

Why is it important?

Growing and diversifying supply chain opportunities is at the heart of government’s Industrial and Civil Society Strategies. An economy with diverse, resilient and innovative supply markets is a cornerstone of prosperity. It provides the best environment to start and grow a business. Markets with a broad range of suppliers of different types can offer better value for money, promote innovative solutions and give public services access to expertise and knowledge on complex issues.

What do I need to consider?

  • MAC 3.1 – Diverse supply chains
    • Activities that demonstrate a collaborative way to work with a diverse range of businesses as part of the supply chain.
    • Structuring of the supply chain selection process in a way that ensures fairness (e.g. anti-corruption) and encourages participation by a diverse range of businesses.
  • MAC 3.2 – Innovation and disruptive technologies
    • Understanding of opportunities to drive innovation and greater use of disruptive technologies, green technologies, efficiency and quality to deliver lower cost and / or higher quality goods and services.
    • Measures to ensure the development of scalable and future-proofed new methods to modernise delivery and increase productivity.
  • MAC 3.3 – Modernising delivery and increasing productivity
    • Understanding of scalable and future-proofed new methods to drive greater modernisation of delivery and increase productivity.
  • MAC 3.4 – Collaboration throughout the supply chain
    • Understanding of opportunities to drive greater collaboration in the supply chain through partnerships.

 

Fighting climate change

Reducing carbon emissions in support of the UK’s net-zero emissions pledge.

Why is it important?

Governments 25 Year Environment Plan sets out goals for improving the environment within a generation and details how it will work with communities and businesses to do this.

What do I need to consider?

  • MAC 4.1 – Additional environmental benefits
    • Understanding of additional environmental benefits in the performance of the contract, including working towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions.
    • Collaborative way of working with the supply chain to deliver additional environmental benefits in the performance of the contract.
  • MAC 4.2 – Influence environmental protection and improvement
    • Volunteering opportunities for the contract workforce, e.g. undertaking activities that encourage direct positive impact.
    • Activities to reconnect people with the environment and increase awareness of ways to protect and enhance it.
    • Partnering/collaborating in relation to the performance of the contract, to support environmental objectives.

 

Reducing waste

Minimising the amount of e-waste sent to landfill through the refurbishment and repurposing of technology.

Why is it important?

 The manufacturing of devices and the use of rare materials that go into their production represent a huge source of embodied energy.  Minimising e-waste helps to conserve resources and reduces the amount of energy we take from the earth.

What do I need to consider?

  • MAC 4.2 – Influence environmental protection and improvement
    • Activities to reconnect people with the environment and increase awareness of ways to protect and enhance it.

 

Driving equal opportunity

Tackling workforce inequality and improving the health and wellbeing of the local community.

Why is it important?

 Government is committed to tackling inequality and giving everyone across the country the opportunity to fulfil their potential. The Good Work Plan affirms government’s ambition that all work should be fair and decent, and that everyone, regardless of where they live in the UK or which sector they work in, should be able to benefit from high quality jobs.

What do I need to consider?

  • MAC 6.1: Tackling inequality in the contract workforce
    • Inclusive and accessible recruitment practices, and retention-focused activities.
  • MAC 6.2: Supporting in-work progression
    • Measures to support in-work progression to help people in the contract workforce, to move into higher paid work by developing new skills relevant to the contract.

 

WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?

As our partner community are already holding UKCloud to higher standards of accountability through the delivery of a sustainable technology strategy, our social value credentials remain an exemplar to the technology sector and are recognised by local and central government.

With that said, there are three ways in which our partners can benefit from our charter:

 

Delivering Social Value through Procurement

Great news – our partner charter can help you win more business! Partners seeking to win government contracts can leverage UKCloud’s social value credentials through supply chain procurement. The Model Award Criteria (MAC) as detailed within the Social Value Model and our pledges above, recognises resilient, diverse, innovative and collaborative supply chains and places them at the heart of government’s Industrial and Civil Society Strategies.

Key MAC alignment to be aware of can also be found within the appendices of our handy Social Value Partner Charter Guide.

 

Collaborative Workshops

UKCloud will host biannual workshops for our partner community, in order to detail:

  • The Social Value Act and the Social Value Model and their impact on our partners.
  • New SVA and SVM developments that our partners should be aware of.
  • Discuss the numerous activities partners can undertake to align with UKCloud’s Social Value Charter as well as what other companies are doing outside of the tech industry.
  • how our partners can achieve a Social Value Quality Mark (SVQM) should they wish to enhance their Social Value credentials.

 

Get accredited!

Accreditation is probably the single biggest outward sign of commitment to being an ethical and socially conscientious organisation.  We want our partners to stand out against their competition for the brilliant work they in delivering value for society – it makes commercial sense and increases brand-worth.

That’s why we’ve negotiated a discounted rate-card for all UKCloud partners to work with the Social Value Business to enhance their credentials in this area. To speak with the Social Value Business directly, please contact them using their online form.

By aligning your social value activities to those detailed in UKCloud’s charter, partners will be able to measure and legitimise their social impact which is crucial to obtaining a Social Value Quality Mark.

 

To learn more about partnering with UKCloud, please visit our partner page and download our brochure. Together, we can advance the UK’s national digital capability.

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