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About social procurement - suppliers

Learn how the Social Procurement Framework can help to create equality and improve environmental outcomes in our local communities.

What is social procurement?

Social procurement is when organisations use their buying power to create social value.

Social value is created when a procurement activity delivers social or sustainable outcomes. This can be things like:

  • creating jobs for Victorians finding it hard to get work
  • achieving a better outcome for the environment
  • purchasing from a social benefit supplier
  • training young people so they have the skills they need for a successful career

There are direct and indirect approaches to social procurement.

Direct approach

This is where a social benefit supplier contracts with the Government to provide goods, services, or construction. In this situation, these suppliers give the Government direct social value.

Indirect approach

This is where a mainstream supplier contracts with the Government to provide goods, services, or construction.

Mainstream suppliers might have special clauses in their contracts. These clauses ensure the suppliers give the Government social value.

A mainstream supplier might need to:

  • subcontract work to a social benefit supplier
  • employ priority jobseekers
  • reduce its impact on the environment

In these situations, these suppliers give the Government indirect social value.

What is the Social Procurement Framework?

The Victorian Government set up Victoria’s Social Procurement Framework. It uses its buying power to create:

  • jobs and skills-based training opportunities for priority jobseekers
  • business opportunities for social benefit suppliers
  • environmental outcomes

The Social Procurement Framework applies to all the goods, services and construction that the Victorian Government buys. It came into effect on 1 September 2018.

Access Victoria’s Social Procurement Framework.

Who is a supplier under the Social Procurement Framework?

Under the Social Procurement Framework, there are 2 main types of suppliers. Suppliers provide an Agency with goods, services or construction.

Social benefit suppliers

Social benefit suppliers are Victorian suppliers that are:

For more detail, refer to the Supplier diversity - Social benefit suppliers fact sheet.

Mainstream suppliers

Mainstream suppliers are all other suppliers that are not social benefit suppliers.

For more detail, refer to the Supplier diversity - Mainstream suppliers fact sheet. It outlines:

  • what to consider when bidding for new projects
  • how to connect with social benefit suppliers
  • where to find support

Which Victorians are a priority for outcomes under the Social Procurement Framework?

The Social Procurement Framework focuses on Aboriginal Victorians, Victorians with disability and disadvantaged Victorians.

Aboriginal Victorians

People who identify as a person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent. Their local community must also accept them as such.

Victorians with disability

Victorian people who have long-term impairments. When combined with other barriers, they may be prevented from participating fully and equally in society.

Impairments must be lasting for 6 months or more and can be:

  • physical
  • mental health
  • intellectual
  • neurological
  • sensory

Other barriers for can include negative attitudes or places that are not accessible.

Disadvantaged Victorians

Disadvantaged Victorians can be people living in Victoria who are either:

  • Australian citizens or permanent residents
  • temporary residents under Australia’s refugee and humanitarian program who hold a visa with work entitlements

Disadvantaged Victorians include:

Disengaged youth

Young people living in Victoria aged between 15 and 24 years and who are not:

  • studying
  • training
  • working

Long-term unemployed people

Job seekers living in Victoria who have not had a job for 6 months or more.

Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, single parents, and workers in transition

Migrants are people living in Victoria who chose to migrate to Australia.

Refugees are people living in Victoria under Australia’s refugee and humanitarian program. They are permanent residents and continue to be categorised as refugees after they have migrated to Australia.

An asylum seeker is a temporary resident seeking protection. When their application for political asylum is granted, they are classified as a refugee.

Single parents are people living in Victoria who are responsible for dependent children. These children could either be living in their home or outside of the home.

Workers in transition are people living in Victoria who are or might be retrenched due to a business closing or industry transition

Some people from within these groups:

  • are at risk of being long-term unemployed
  • face significant barriers to employment

Significant barriers to employment might include a lack of:

  • language skills
  • work experience
  • relevant job skills
  • networks
  • understanding of the labour market
  • understanding of job search techniques

Other significant barriers to finding and keeping a job include:

  • care responsibilities
  • mental and physical health difficulties
  • family violence
  • housing issues
  • having a criminal record

Become an inclusive employer

Refer to the Fair and Inclusive employment fact sheet for more details and where to find support.


For more information about social procurement, contact the Social Procurement team.

Reviewed 13 April 2021

Buying for Victoria

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