National award for student placement scheme run in partnership with USW

Procurement awards with Cardiff council

A student placement programme run in collaboration with the University of South Wales (USW) within Cardiff Council’s Commissioning and Procurement Team has won a national Government Opportunities (GO) Excellence in Public Procurement award for 2019/20.

The scheme, which has been recognised in the Emerging Procurement Talent category of the UK‘s premier procurement awards, has been running for six years and provides students with knowledge of the Council’s procurement processes and invaluable on the job experience.

Up to three students a year are taken on placement, giving them high levels of responsibility, being typically accountable for leading and managing £10m-£20m worth of tendering activity.

Students also have the opportunity to work on projects with Atebion Solutions, the Council-owned procurement company that provides services to other public sector organisations.

Cabinet Member for Finance, Modernisation and Performance, Cllr Chris Weaver, said: “We’re delighted that our successful student placement programme has been recognised in these national procurement awards. The ethos of the Commissioning and Procurement team is that our placement students are not students but developing procurement professionals and they are treated accordingly gaining full exposure the Council’s procurement processes.

“USW have also noticed the impact on final grades for their BA (Hons) degree as 100% of Cardiff Council students achieve a 2:1 or 1st class degree. Our placement students have also gone on to achieve university awards such as student of the year and best dissertation.

“But perhaps, the biggest indicator of the success of our student placement programme is that we now have five of our former students permanently employed in the team.”

Daniel Mansell, a student placement in 2018/19 and current member of the Council’s Strategic Procurement team, said: “The student placement scheme has played a critical role in the development of my procurement knowledge. My placement at Cardiff Council allowed me to gain a holistic experience into the role of procurement and exposure to the challenges of working in a complex organisation.

“Having my student placement with Cardiff Council has provided me a wealth of real industry experience and knowledge that will support me pursuing a career in procurement.”

Scott Parfitt, Senior Lecturer, USW said: “This is an excellent example of Industry and Higher Education working together to create graduates that meet the needs of industry.”

For more information on Commissioning and Procurement’s student placement scheme visit: https://www.cardiff.gov.uk/ENG/Business/Tenders-commissioning-and-procurement/social-responsibility/Social-Responsible-Delivery/Pages/default.aspx