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Council Leader launches Renfrewshire Living Wage campaign

Council Leader launches Renfrewshire Living Wage campaign.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan has launched a campaign urging businesses and organisations in Renfrewshire to sign up to the Living Wage.

The Council Leader visited the Phoenix Car Company in Linwood to meet with employers from the private and public sector that have already pledged to pay the Living Wage.

By supporting the campaign, Living Wage employers will receive recognition through the council’s website and be entitled to use the campaign logo across their own publicity activities.

KE Living Wage Week

Earlier this week the UK Living Wage, the amount people need to earn to meet the basic cost of living, was unveiled as £7.65 per hour, significantly higher than the legal minimum wage of £6.31 for over-21s.

Councillor Macmillan said: “The national minimum wage has not kept pace with life here in Renfrewshire. It certainly isn’t sufficient to support a family. We need the help of the business community to make work pay so that employment is always the more affordable option for parents and individuals.

“Renfrewshire’s Living Wage campaign will provide practical local assistance to help employers do the right thing.

“Paying the Living Wage is good for business, good for families and good for Renfrewshire. It means that people can work their way out of poverty and it ensures Renfrewshire remains an attractive and prosperous place in which to work or build a future”.

In June this year Renfrewshire Council announced plans to pay an extra £1,000 per post to firms which agree to pay at least the Living Wage, taking the council’s investment in youth employment and Renfrewshire’s economy above the £8 million mark.

Renfrewshire Council pledged its commitment to the Living Wage at the end of 2012, benefiting around 800 council workers. Those who experienced the biggest gains were mostly female part-time workers involved in catering, cleaning and school crossing services.

Last month ahead of the campaign the Council Leader wrote to 150 employers across Renfrewshire to share with them the council’s own experience and inspire them to get behind the campaign. Among the first firms to pledge its support was Phoenix Car Company in Linwood.

Managing Director John McGuire said: “Paying a Living Wage has had a positive effect on productivity because it shows we value our employees.

“Also if you pay people a Living Wage they can afford to contribute to the economy and if people are spending, that’s good for business in the long-run.”

Other Renfrewshire employers who support the Living Wage campaign include Share Scotland, Link Housing, University West of Scotland, West College Scotland, Smith & McLaurin and Ceridian HR & Payroll Services.

Businesses wanting to add their name to the list can find further information on the council website at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk or contact the Leader’s Office at Renfrewshire House.

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Recruits seal the deal in car challenge

Recruits seal the deal in car challenge

Renfrewshire young Recruits showed they can strike deals on wheels during their latest challenge – by helping to sell a car!

The teenagers on the popular council-run youth employment programme took to the showroom of the Phoenix car group in Linwood as part of a business task.

There, they were asked to plan and design a programme of marketing material for Hyundai and Honda vehicles at the busy dealership.

Phoenix sales staff also posed as customers to test the Recruits’ selling skills. But while there they had the chance to practice on a real customer, who ended up buying a Hyundai i20.

The Recruit is loosely based on TV favourite The Apprentice, and sees young people compete in a series of challenges, with jobs on offer for the winners.

Currently, there are two programmes running, one for 16 to 17-year-olds and one for unemployed people aged between 18 and 24.

Colin McGeoch, group training manager at Phoenix car group, said: “We had a very enjoyable day and were delighted to have them here. The Recruit is a very worthwhile project.

“The Recruits were welcomed to Phoenix by John McGuire, our managing director, who told them a bit about the company, before they were given a tour.

“We set them a team challenge to suggest ways we could create more footfall to our showrooms, and picked a winning team at the end.

“We asked them to come up with ideas for radio and press adverts and got to see their reaction when our marketing team brought their creations to life.”

As well as the Phoenix car group task, the teenagers on the first programme have visited Steel Engineering, St Mirren and Renfrewshire Leisure, among others, and received training in first aid and interview techniques.

The Phoenix car group have been long-time supporters of The Recruit, and also take part in a challenge every summer with youngsters on Inverclyde Council’s version of the programme.

The winter version of The Recruit will conclude with a finale event at Renfrew’s Glynhill Hotel later in March.