Contractor FAQs

  • What is Buy Social?

    Buy Social is a tool to maximise social and economic benefits from public purchasing. One way that this can be achieved is through Targeted Recruitment and Training (TR&T) opportunities. Targeted Recruitment and Training is the term used to describe job opportunities with training that are only available to certain individuals e.g. those who are long term unemployed or leaving education or training, otherwise known as ‘New Entrant Trainees’. It is also possible to design wider, targeted social value initiatives, particularly on smaller value or specialised contracts where Targeted Recruitment and Training may not be suitable.

  • What is a Broker?

    A broker is a training/employability organisation which works with people who are eligible for Buy Social opportunities and are looking for employment, work placement opportunities and/or employment support.  Brokers can set up introductions for Contractors, help with supporting their clients and are often willing to work with a contractor to help them meet their Buy Social requirements.

  • Who is a New Entrant Trainee?

    A New Entrant Trainee is one of the following:

    • a person that is leaving or has, within the last 12 months, left an educational establishment or a training provider (including paid student work placements)
    • a person aged under 25 that has been unemployed for more than 26 weeks and is seeking employment
    • a person aged 25 or over that has been unemployed for more than 52 weeks and is seeking employment
    • an existing ‘New Entrant Trainee’ that is seeking a new position to complete their ‘New Entrant’ period, or another person who is accepted as a New Entrant Trainee by the Client
    A New Entrant Trainee can be in one of the following categories
    • an apprentice who is undertaking a paid apprenticeship, registered within the ApprenticeshipsNI programme or a similar scheme agreed by the Employer, can be counted as a ‘New Entrant’ for up to 104 weeks.
    • a professional trainee (post-primary degree or equivalent) who is working towards full corporate membership of a professional institution and/or registration body and is registered with an appropriate professional body. These individuals can be counted as a ‘New Entrant’ for up to 104 weeks.
    • an undergraduate student working towards a primary degree and required by a university or college to undertake a placement in industry to gain relevant training and experience through paid employment. These individuals can be counted as a ‘New Entrant’ for up to 52 weeks.
    • an other trainee who can be counted as a ‘New Entrant’ for up to 52 weeks. This category can include but are not limited to semi-skilled, operative, administration, health and safety, IT support, business improvement and other support positions.

  • What is the Buy Social Services Model?

    The Buy Social services model has been developed by the Strategic Investment Board and CPD. The Procurement Board discussed the Buy Social Services Model at its meetings on 13 January and 24 February 2017 and, following further discussion with a number of Departments, the model is now agreed. The model should now be considered in services contracts with an anticipated value of £500,000 per annum or more.

  • What is the Buy Social construction model?

    Departments, the construction Centres of Procurement Expertise and representatives from the local construction industry. The model was endorsed by the Procurement Board in November 2015 and came into operation in April 2016. It sets a contractual requirement for a quantifiable number of targeted recruitment and training opportunities for New Entrant Trainees to be provided in Government construction contracts. The requirement is to be delivered by the main contractor and its supply chain.

  • What is the Find a Broker service used for?

    The Find a Broker section of this website has been created to help contractors who have been awarded public contracts with Buy Social clauses to link with relevant organisations (‘brokers’) who can support them to deliver these clauses. You can search the site for brokers who:

    • work in an appropriate geographical area, and
    • work with people who will meet your Buy Social requirements.
    This will generate a contact list of suitable brokers that you can download. There is template text in the Buy Social 'Guide for Contractors' which you can use to email suitable brokers. You can download the Guide from the resources section of the Buy Social website. For more information on Buy Social, please visit the website or email