Social Procurement is a growing practice that seeks to better leverage tax dollars to achieve positive social outcomes aligned with community values and strategic objectives. Social Procurement has been adopted around the world and is demonstrating positive results for taxpayers and the wider community.
The Village of Cumberland was the first in the Association of Vancouver Island and Coast Communities (AVICC) region to adopt and implement a Social Procurement Framework. The Towns of Qualicum Beach and Ladysmith are also implementing procurement with a strategic focus to benefit the community. The City of Victoria Council has adopted the Good Jobs + Good Business = Better Community Action Plan and is working toward implementation. Across the region, there is about $300 M in procurement that could integrate social impact.
At the same time, across the Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities region there are ongoing social issues:
- Youth and First Nations unemployment
- More employment-ready young people on income assistance in 2016 than in 2006
- There’s a labour shortage across many sectors
- In the trades in particular, there is an anticipated labour shortage in the coming years due to retirements/demographics
Social procurement can mobilize purchasing power to create positive impact, leading to greater community well-being.