Capgemini will overtake rival Capita as the biggest software and IT services supplier to the Learning and Skills Council after being selected as preferred bidder for a £245m contract, analysts believe.

The Learning and Skills Council, which organises non-university education and training, has put Capgemini first in line for a five-year IT contract worth up to £245m.

The deal will cover the provision of IT infrastructure and support for around 3,000 desktop users, strategic consultancy, development of bespoke applications and provision of a wide-area network and internal and external telephone services.

Ovum analyst John O’Brien said: “Capgemini has now established itself as a leading S/ITS supplier to the central education sector. I estimate that the company will now be the single biggest S/ITS supplier to the LSC, overtaking Capita, which recently lost its Education Maintenance Allowance contract to Liberata.”

Capgemini had beaten off rival bids from the LSC’s two existing contractors – Xansa and Fujitsu, whose contracts both expire in the spring, he noted. Xansa’s unsuccessful bid was made in partnership with BT.

O’Brien said Capgemini had gained from “recent successes on other high profile education contracts”, including the £40m hosting and support contract for the Department for Children, Schools and Families' flagship ContactPoint system – an online database of vulnerable children aimed at helping professionals from different education and welfare agencies to work together more effectively.