In 2015, Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) undertook a fundamental review of their learning and development provision. As part of this review, they chose to use the ESPO Managed Training Services framework (383), with the aim of making savings on their learning and development budget, whilst ensuring employees still received learning and development appropriate to their role.
Premier Partnership – a supplier on the framework – has worked with Oxfordshire since September 2015 to deliver a broad range of learning and development interventions that include
- A leadership programme for the top 70 managers within the Council.
- Level 3 ILM Award in Management programmes to managers across the Council.
- Training in a broad range of Social Care to staff in Adult and Children’s services.
- Specific training for OTs.
- Bespoke programmes on customer service for customer facing staff.
- Soft skills training, including training in HR processes and performance management.
- Training in Health & Safety and Wellbeing for front line staff and managers.
- A range of ICT courses tailored to meet the needs of staff.
As an integral part of Premier’s service provision, the Council are provided with regular management information on spend, which enables them to monitor costs and savings; evaluation data and observations and reports providers. Any concerns or complaints are investigated under Premier’s quality assurance process and reported back to Oxfordshire within agreed timescales.
In the period of September 2015 to March 2018, over 750 courses have been delivered to over 5,000 employees in Oxfordshire. Evaluation data shows that over 92% of delegates rate the training they received as good or excellent, with 53% rating it as excellent. Training delivery receives a high approval rating from staff, with 95% rating the trainer as supportive and responsive to the learner.
The benefits to the Council have included Premier taking responsibility for a range of back office functions, including venue booking and production of Ml data, which was previously undertaken in house. The choice of providers that Premier has been able to offer has also helped the Council make savings, for example by delivering learning differently, shorter courses and using new providers who have brought fresh ideas and innovation to both learning content and delivery. In short- using the category buying and supply chain expertise of Premier Partnership to drive better value.
In November 2017 the Council signed a new contract with Premier for two years under the ESPO 383 framework. They did this on the basis of the service received and the savings made. The internal business case put forward in OCC for the continued use of Premier estimated these savings to be in between 15% to 25% of the overall contract value, based on the cost to the Council of using alternative suppliers and undertaking the services provided by Premier in-house.
“Premier has been instrumental in ensuring Oxfordshire County Council deliver our Learning & Development Plan with minimal resources. They are very responsive to bespoke requirements and negate the need for me to spend a lot of time negotiating with suppliers on the planned activity. Premier has been efficient and helpful and dedicated to ensure Oxfordshire delivers a timely and professional service to all staff.”
Sarah Sutton, Learning and Development Manager, Oxfordshire County Council