https://environmentagency.blog.gov.uk/2018/02/01/the-search-for-a-new-generation-of-engineers/

The search for a new generation of engineers

The Environment Agency is looking for new suppliers to work on vital projects, such as the Leeds flood defence seen here
The Environment Agency is looking for new suppliers to work on vital projects, such as the Leeds flood defence seen here

Helping to protect the country from flooding is key to my role and, indeed, that of the Environment Agency. Over the years, many communities have seen flood defences built, maintained and operated in ways that reduce the risk of flooding. We have also recognised that with a changing climate and society this role is increasingly complex.

Acting to reduce the impacts of a changing climate on people and wildlife is at the heart of everything we do. We reduce the risks to people, properties and businesses from flooding and coastal erosion. However, we cannot achieve this alone. We work closely with others, such as local councils and our supply chain, to reduce the risk of flooding.

But our current contract with our supply chain runs out next year. So now we are looking for a new kind of supplier arrangement, at the heart of which will be genuine collaboration and a desire to do even more for the communities we serve. We are determined that the next generation supplier arrangements will include even greater emphasis on innovation, on ensuring the best possible value for money, and on building sustainability into all of the things that we do together. We are looking for outstanding partners who believe in those goals and share our values.

A new framework

Between 2015 and 2021 we will be spending in excess of £2.6billion in protecting more communities against flooding from rivers and coastal flood risk. That’s £2.6 billion going into more than 1,500 different projects up and down the country. We also recognise there needs to be more of the same in the years beyond that.

The new arrangements will include what is called a ‘Collaborative Delivery Framework’ (CDF) – this framework will carry out a significant portion of the flood and coastal erosion capital programme, predominantly for projects between £250,000 and £50million in value. The framework will be made up of 6 locally based Collaborative Delivery Teams. Each CDT will include a separately appointed consultant and contractor, who will work alongside the Environment Agency as integrated teams.

Our programme of work provides great diversity, with projects ranging in scale, complexity and cost. Local delivery is important to us and local small and medium enterprises have a vital role to play in helping us achieve this in the best way possible. Collaboration will need to be embedded through the entire supply chain for us to realise the benefits we’re aiming for.

Construction on the Ipswich tidal barrier, one of the Environment Agency's flood defences
Construction on the Ipswich tidal barrier, one of the Environment Agency's flood defences

How to get involved

We’ve recently launched our formal procurement for the CDF in the Official Journal of the European Union. If you’re interested in bidding for the new framework, you can access all the information you need through Bravo – the Environment Agency’s procurement system. Make sure you complete a selection questionnaire by 19 February 2018. We’ll also be procuring other supporting frameworks to deliver national mapping and modelling, coastal and client support needs, and more information will be available on this soon.

We’re looking forward to a more collaborative future, working together to ensure we can do more to better protect those at risk of flooding. If all of his excites you, get in touch and come and work with us.

As the old saying goes: a problem shared is a problem halved. The ultimate success of working in partnership with our consultants and contractors is that they have experience and ideas that we don't. I have no doubt that by being more open to different thinking in terms of design and delivery, we can, and will, do more to protect communities across the country. The joint work and effort I have seen to date gives me every confidence we will succeed.

You can hear more from the Environment Agency’s Chief Executive here.

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