Richard Macfarlane
Research and Project Development Ltd.
Richard Macfarlane
149 Chamberlayne Road
London NW10 3NT

Tel & Fax: +44 [0]20-8964-2416
Mobile: 077688 93731


TR&T and Sustainable Development

UK Government policy on sustainable development includes social progress that meets the needs of everyone. (A Better Quality of Life – A Strategy for Sustainable Development for the UK. CM4345. May 1999). TR&T provides a means of achieving this often-ignored element of a core National, Regional and local policy.
The reduction of car-based commuting is a key strategy in sustainable development and related Planning policies. TR&T can play an important role here since local people are more likely to access work by public transport, walking and cycling, or at worst will have less far to drive.

Understanding the connections:

- TR&T is one element in a wider range of community benefits that includes small business start-ups, ‘considerate contractor’ schemes or partnerships between business and education;
- community benefits is one element in a wider range of ‘social issues’ that includes good equal opportunities, trades union rights, good employment conditions, and fair trade;
- ‘social issues’ are part of a still wider concern - ‘sustainable procurement’ which includes economic and environmental matters; and
- sustainable procurement is a way of delivering an over-arching Government objective - sustainable development.


Achievements from a contractual TR&T approach vary with the type of work, the duration of the work and the degree of leverage applied by the developer/client. However, the `base line` benchmark is 52 weeks of employment for a `new entrant trainee` per £1m in contract value – excluding any payments for land and professional services.

A `new entrant trainee` is defined a person that is leaving an educational establishment (e.g. school, college or university) or a training provider, or a non-employed person that is seeking employment that includes on-site training and assessment or offsite training, or a mix of these.

On a construction contract this equates to roughly 10% of the labour time required to carry out the works. A higher % can be achieved in some type of works e.g. a steady programme of new-build housing.

Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) New Entrant Trainee Outcomes – achieved at no cost to GHA. June 2008 (All figures are in person-weeks of employment).

Benchmarks for end-user employment (e.g. TR&T requirements on commercial and retail developments, imposed through Development Agreements or Planning Agreements) are less well established but may include a % of new workers that are recruited from previously unemployed people.


Value for Money (VfM) and Affordability in Procurement

If TR&T is part of the subject of the contract and/or a contract condition – what is being purchased – then VfM can only be achieved if the TR&T elements are delivered. It is therefore legitimate to include the cost of delivering the TR&T elements in the tender/price for the contract. In this context TR&T cannot, by definition, produce poor VfM if it is part of a competitive procurement process.

Affordability is a different issue. This raises the question of whether the purchaser has the budget to pay for the TR&T elements. Answering this question requires consideration of:

- the scale and type of TR&T requirements that are to be provided;
- the resources that the contractor can access in order to deliver the requirements, e.g. free training and job-matching services and grants from public sector and industry sources;
- funding that the purchasing body may obtain in order to pay for the TR&T elements of their requirements: this may be internal or external;
- whether the bidders are able to price for the TR&T element, or are instructed that this must be cost-neutral (i.e. they must obtain the resources).

Legal issues

Richard Macfarlane is not qualified to give legal advice and users must obtain legal advice before using the material below.

For a detailed analysis of UK and EC procurement rules and relevant case law see The CAN DO Toolkit at

Different legal issues arise for the inclusion of TR&T requirements in different types of contract or agreement. Variations also arise from the different laws and guidance in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. So implementation of TR&T in a particular contract or agreement requires specialist knowledge and experience. This may not be available within the legal and technical team that is leading the development, and this can be a barrier to implementation.


- wherever possible include TR&T as part of the subject of the contract rather than as a bolt-on extra;
- whether this is possible depends on the powers and polices of the procuring organisation: this should not be a problem for local authorities, registered social landlords and regeneration organisations;
- introduce TR&T into the procurement process as early as possible;
- if TR&T is part of the subject of the contract it can be used in the award of the contract; but
- to use TR&T in the award process it must be referred to in the Contract Notices i.e. at the start of the procurement process;
- to comply with the EC Procurement Directive avoid requirements that are locally-referenced e.g. the recruitment of workers from a particular locality or the achievement of UK qualifications.

Development Agreements:

- these agreements may relate to the disposal of property - in which case public procurement rules do not apply – but in many regeneration areas the agreement covers both a disposal and a procurement (e.g. disposal of land and procurement of social housing) in which case the rules on public procurement will apply;
- a key issue is that the Agreement may not automatically bind parties that did not sign the original Agreement, and therefore the TR&T obligations may lapse over time;
- this can be addressed by including the provision of a financial bond which is repaid to the developer as the TR&T requirements are delivered.

Planning Agreements/Obligations

- these agreements are linked to the award of Planning Permission and typically cover obligations on the developer that will ensure that planning policies are achieved;
- Planning policy and guidance varies in different part of the UK, as does case law (i.e. precedents);
- `sustainable development` underpins Planning policy at National, Regional and local levels, and may provide a basis for including TR&T in Planning Agreements;
- ensure that local development plans (planning policy) specifically refer to a commitment to TR&T, or include links to Community Strategies and Plans that include such a commitment.