The Education Funding Agency (EFA) is urging local contractors to apply for places on its new £6 billion schools framework that will pave the way for new jobs in the building trades.
The EFA Construction Framework will be used to deliver free schools, university technical colleges, studio schools, and academies.
Contractors must register their interest online by 6 June 2016 at http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ZOFA0/ in order to be considered for a place on the framework.
The National Federation of Builders (NFB) played an active role in pointing out the lack of SME participation in previous school building frameworks.
In March 2015, the NFB published a report finding that no SMEs had been awarded contracts in the EFA regional framework, despite it being initially conceived to generate work for local contractors.
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “We are strongly encouraging members with experience in school building to sign up for the EFA construction framework.
“Regional SMEs have local communities at heart because they employ, train, and invest money locally and represent value for money. For every £1 spent with an SME, 90p remains in the local economy.”
The NFB hopes the EFA will not only take into account a firm’s capacity to build, but also its ability to deliver cost effectively, while bearing in mind the Government’s target for SME engagement.