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DCMS launches programme to help charities better compete for public contracts

Melanie May | 4 April 2023 | News

two women both in white shirts sit at a table, one taking notes on a notepad, and the other leafing through documents

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has launched the VCSE Contract Readiness Programme: a £900,000 package of support for the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector in England.

On offer is fully funded training, ranging from introductory webinars to short and long courses to help VCSEs engage in public sector procurement. The programme will be delivered by School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) with Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) and Voice4Change England (V4CE), and will run until the end of the financial year 2024/2025.

The programme will also help public sector commissioners increase their awareness and understanding of the VCSE sector for more effective partnerships.

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Both VCSEs and commissioners can access support through the newly created Public Services Hub. This is hosted on SEUK’s website.

VCSE Crown Representative, Claire Dove CBE, said:

“The expertise of VCSEs means they are often ideally placed to help create compassionate, responsive and efficient public services.



“The VCSE Contract Readiness Programme will help to address some of the barriers that have prevented VCSEs entering the public sector market. It will improve the skills and knowledge of VCSEs on how to bid for contracts and provide them greater opportunity to enter public sector supply chains. This in turn gives the government the opportunity of having increased diversity of providers in its supply chains.”

Charities and social enterprises can sign up to the programme on the SSE’s website.

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