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Multi-agency taskforce to get the best deal for Paisley after Chivas relocation announcement

A multi-agency Scottish Government taskforce will be set up following the recent announcement by drinks manufacturer Chivas that it was to relocate its business to West Dunbartonshire.

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The commitment followed a meeting on Monday between Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The First Minister was visiting Project Search, a Renfewshire Council Initiative to help young people with autism and learning disabilities into employment.

Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “I was pleased to be able to personally discuss the issues regarding Chivas plans direct with the First Minister on her visit to Paisley today.

“The company has had a long standing presence in Paisley and while it is hoped all employees will be offered roles in the relocation, we want to be prepared to support where we can to minimise the impact this move will undoubtedly have.

“I welcome the First Minister’s commitment to establishing a taskforce which will bring together all parties to work with the Council to ensure we can get the best deal for the people of Paisley.”

The meeting was held after the First Minister’s visit to Project Search – a successful project which sees a group of 12 students, aged between 17 and 26, gain vital experience through full-time placements with Renfrewshire Council.

As the largest employer in the area the council can offer a variety of placements to suit the individual students.

Each participant works with a team that includes their family, a lecturer from Glasgow Clyde College and a job coach to create a specific employment goal, which helps them move into the world of work.

The young people who take part get continuous coaching and feedback to help them learn.

Council Leader Macmillan said: “Renfrewshire’s Project Search is about helping our young people to harness their talent, achieve their potential and find the sustained employment that changes lives.

“It is a clear example of a successful programme making a real difference on the ground and part of our innovative approach to tackling poverty.

“By equipping young people with the skills and experience they need to thrive in the workplace, we are giving them a solid foundation for long-term employment and making it less likely they will face financial hardship.

“It also helps employers by ensuring that our area has a pool of people they can draw on to help their businesses prosper and grow.”

Kieran Kelly attended Project Search and went on to secure a job at a charity that tackles disability hate crime.

He said: “The experience I had with Project Search overall has been life changing.

“The work experience that I had has given me new experiences to learn new skills and allowed me to do things I have never done before.

“The classes were really interesting and fun and gave me the confidence to try new things.”

Further information on Renfrewshire’s Project Search can be found via the Glasgow Clyde College website at www.glasgowclyde.ac.uk/courses/course-finder/nq-project-search-renfrewshire