Capability and capacity are long standing challenges of the procurement profession in Wales. The extensive environmental changes we’ve seen over recent years have only exacerbated these challenges.
While the COVID-19 pandemic raised the profile of procurement as an important strategic lever to support organisational outcomes, it also placed huge challenges on procurement leaders, with recruitment and retention more difficult than ever because of talent shortages across the profession.
What does this mean for our Welsh public procurement workforce?
Public sector procurement teams across Wales are reporting huge knowledge and talent gaps because of workforce mobility. CIPS salary guide 2022 reported a 20% disparity between private and public sectors at Advanced and Professional levels, so it’s not surprising that public sector professionals are feeling the impact of the cost-of-living crisis.
While vast budgetary pressures exist in the public sector, throwing money at the problem isn’t in the gift of public procurement leaders across Wales and isn’t necessarily the right answer.
The changes that lie ahead
Leaders are under continuous pressure to re-prioritise delivery and balance organisational priorities with the need to prepare for the continuous stream of changes that lay ahead.
These changes are some of the largest changes public sector procurement will have seen in well over a decade. They include the Procurement Bill and the Social Partnership Procurement (Wales) Bill.
These changes will ultimately support organisations in cutting through the bureaucracy of the existing regulations and create simpler and more flexible processes. The challenge is that without enough people or the right skills, these changes are destined for a slow implementation period and a lengthy wait for the new system to reach its potential.
How do we retain and attract new talent?
Bridging the capacity gap is a key priority. By developing a pipeline of skills and motivated talent, and providing support to our talented existing professionals, we can help colleagues keep up to date with the tools and skills needed to succeed in the 21st century public sector. To get this right, we need your help.
Cyd – the procurement centre of excellence
In early 2022, during a discovery exercise into the Procurement Centre of Excellence (PCoE),the procurement community confirmed that creating capability and capacity was a priority area .
Following this discovery exercise, an alpha project was launched to move the project forward.
Four months into the project, these are the three key service areas that we’re taking forward at pace, with the procurement community driving the activity.
- Create / curate training materials related to different stages of the procurement/ commercial lifecycle
- Create / curate case studies using a consistent format to gather and share insights and lessons learned
- Work with the community to develop a consistent approach for estimating (pre-procurement), capturing and reporting (through contract management) on carbon emission data in a meaningful way.
Working alongside the talented team behind Cyd, we’ll be aligning our Welsh Government Capability and Leadership programme to compliment the services that you as a procurement community are telling us you need.
Cyd forms an exciting opportunity to really make a difference to the capability and capacity of the procurement community.
While the Welsh public procurement is a small community, it’s full of inspirational and passionate procurement professionals with a huge amount of knowledge and expertise.
With the right community engagement, Cyd has the potential to help procurement teams navigate the chaotic world of procurement, share information, best practice and to ease some of the pressures on the profession. All of which will put us in a good place to tackle the changes and challenges we’re facing.
Interested in getting involved – get in touch!
If you’re interested in hearing more about how you can get involved with either Cyd or the Welsh Government Capability and Leadership programme, please contact us here or write to Welsh Government, Commercial and Procurement, Capability and Leadership: firstname.lastname@example.org