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Invitation to Tender: Framework of Activity Providers, Consultants and Associates for Skills for Growth – SME Support Programme: Ref T21073

This Dynamic Procurement System (DPS) is to procure associates to assist in the delivery of the Greater Manchester Skills for Growth–SME Support Programme. Approved bids put forward by the successful associates will form the framework from which this delivery activity will take place.

This programme has been developed to help Greater Manchester come back stronger from the challenges presented before, during and after the pandemic; better equipped and better prepared with the skills needed for the future. Greater Manchester has been chosen to run this programme as test and learn, which could later be rolled out throughout the UK. It was commissioned by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) with funding from the European Social Fund (ESF).

The Skills for Growth–SME Support Programme is a fully funded, tailored service to help up-skill businesses and their employees and improve business productivity. The programme will help business leaders grow their business through re-shaping, developing their talent and enhancing their team’s performance. It is offering impartial advice and guidance through one-to-one consultations either with our skills coaches, wellbeing champions and apprenticeship specialists or our procured associates.

GMBS would like to procure providers, consultants and associates with established relationships with SMEs in Greater Manchester, to assist in the delivery of the Skills for Growth–SME Support Programme. Procured associates will refer eligible businesses that could benefit from this programme of support. Once a business is approved, the associate undertakes a collaborative consultation with them to create a Skills Productivity Plan (SPP) that identifies the needs of the business and between 3 to 10 Individual Skills Plans (ISDP) with employees, to assess the skills needed by them to improve their productivity and growth. A minimum of 1 SSP and 3 ISDPs will be required. All plans must be completed within 3 weeks of an organisation joining the programme and must meet quality and compliance expectations. Once plans are approved, they will be passed to a Growth Company Skills Coach, who will continue to work with these organisations and provide the ongoing support.

Duration, Budget and Payment

The contract period will be from the 1st October 2021 until the 30th April 2022.

The total spend under this framework is anticipated to be £785,000.00 excluding VAT. Bidders should note that spend with individual organisations will be dependent on number of SPPs and ISDPs completed, and no guarantee of a minimum value is given. (See 3.10 below)

GMBS reserves the right to extend the duration up to the 30th September 2022 and increase the budget to a maximum of £1,000,000.00.

GMBS will pay the consultant, provider or associate a maximum cost of £450.00 + VAT for the identification of a business, the signed SPP and a minimum of 3 signed ISDPs. 

Each additional ISDP completed with a business (to a maximum of 10) will be paid at a maximum of £50,00 + VAT per ISDP.

Payment will be made upon receipt of the signed SPP/ISDPs and upon confirmation they have passed quality and compliance checks.

Deadline for Receipt of Tender

Tenders will be accepted until the 30th March 2022.

ITT Documents

You are required to make your ITT submission via The Growth Company In-tend e-tendering platform.   You are required to complete a basic registration as a supplier on the In-tend Supplier Platform at the following web address: 

Please note that all mandatory fields (highlighted in yellow on the In-Tend Portal) must be completed in order to register your organisation.

Once registered, you must log into the system, express your interest in the opportunity on In-Tend and automatically download the ITT documentation.  Your ITT submission will be made on the In-tend Portal.

The full details of the opportunity can be at found at