The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster City Council had developed procurement strategies, which included how to address modern slavery. Both councils were keen to begin training all those who influence procurement on how to implement the strategy and consider practical application within their own roles.
Prior to the project there were no identified instances of modern slavery and exploitation being identified in Council supply chains. The boroughs wanted to be proactive in their approach to tackling the issue and in the implementation of their strategies.
The boroughs also recognised that organisations were increasingly under scrutiny over how they were managing issues related to forced labour and saw this as an opportunity to inform and upskill their workforce to be able to address these challenges through procurement.
The overarching aim of the training was to bring key people who are involved in, or influence procurement, to a common level of knowledge / competence around how to use procurement and supply chain management to combat modern slavery and labour exploitation.
The training aimed to help attendees:
Action Sustainability worked closely with the Procurement and Community Safety teams to develop a 3-hour, interactive training workshop aimed at those who are involved in, or influence the boroughs’ procurement and/or supply chain.
Helen Carter was responsible for leading the work at Action Sustainability and developing the virtual training workshop in collaboration with RBKC and Westminster. She delivered two of the workshops, and Emma-Jane Allen delivered the final workshop.
It became apparent during the development of the workshop that there was a significant amount of knowledge to be imparted in just one three-hour, virtual workshop. This challenge was heightened by the wide range of potential attendees from diverse roles across the councils – including procurement, finance, energy management, commercial, IT systems, supply chain, planning, contract management and surveyors, all with varying levels of knowledge on modern slavery.
The workshop featured numerous opportunities for interaction / discussion / Q&A. Mentimeter was used throughout, allowing those attendees less confident to speak out an opportunity to share their insights / ideas / experiences – anonymously if they wished. Virtual breakout groups (using Google Jamboard) were used to tackle some of the more overwhelming topics, for example supply chain due diligence.
Case studies were peppered throughout the workshop, helping to bring the subject to life and to highlight the wide range of risks in multiple industries / sectors.
Examples of comments made by attendees in response to the question, ‘How will this training impact your work going forward?’