Causeyside improvements create jobs for local young people

Three young, unemployed Renfrewshire men have been helped to develop new skills and get jobs through an innovative partnership between Renfrewshire Council and one of its contractors, construction company Land Engineering (Scotland) Ltd.

Kyle Mills from Inchinnan, William Fulton from Ferguslie, and Robert MacMillan from Renfrew have been employed since February in Land Engineering’s construction team who are carrying out a £1m improvement programme in Paisley’s Causeyside area as part of the Paisley Township Heritage Initiative.

All three were unemployed before being taken on to work on the project which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Renfrewshire Council.

Speaking about his experience of working on the Causeyside project, Kyle, 23, said “Working on this project has been a great opportunity.

“We’ve all had paid work and a lot of on-the-job training in specialist construction techniques such as laying out granite paving which will help us stay in work in the long term. And we’ve all managed to get full-time jobs with Land Engineering.”

Councillor Roy Glen, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Economy and Jobs Policy Board, said “It’s great that council projects are helping to create jobs and opportunities for local people.

“Tackling unemployment in the area, particularly among young people, is one of the council’s top priorities.

“Projects like this are complementing our Invest in Renfrewshire programme which has been successful in getting our local businesses to take on young people from the local area and provide them with work experience to help them find jobs.”

Councillor Terry Kelly, convener of the council’s Planning and Property Policy Board, said “I am really pleased that regeneration projects like this which are helping to make Renfrewshire’s towns more attractive places to live in, work in and visit, are also providing training and experience for young people that will help them into work.”

The Causeyside project has also provided a career opportunity for Reid Kerr College student, Darren Ligget.

Darren, 19, from Hillington, was working on the project as a six-week work placement as part of his NCLP Intermediate course in construction. He impressed his supervisors at Land Engineering so much that they offered him a full-time job at the end of his course.

Darren said “I’m really happy about being offered a full-time job. I’ll be able to put all of the skills and knowledge I’ve gained through my college study and my placement here into practice and I’ll be earning a wage.”

Tommy Campbell, Reid Kerr’s head of construction, said “I am delighted to see a student like Darren impressing employers with his skills and knowledge and securing a job. It shows that we are providing local young people with the skills they need to succeed in a very tough job market.”

The Causeyside project, which is due for completion in August, will bring wider pavements, landscaping, new trees in Johnston Street and improved parking and loading bays for residents, shoppers and businesses.