£750k business boost to provide wages bonus

Renfrewshire Council has unveiled a £750,000 business-boosting measure designed to support the local economy and boost employment.

The money has been secured to help companies take on new staff, with extra money for businesses who agree to pay the Living Wage of £7.50 per hour.

The news was announced by Council Leader Mark Macmillan at an event designed to celebrate the first anniversary of the council’s Invest in Renfrewshire economic development programme.

Councillor Mark Macmillan at conferenceOn the night, Councillor Macmillan revealed that:

– an extra £750,000 will be pumped into the council’s existing wage subsidy programme, after it secured external funding;

– the council will pay an extra £1,000 per post to firms which agree to pay at least the Living Wage of £7.50 per hour;

– as a result, the wage subsidy programme will be renamed the Renfrewshire Employer Recruitment Incentive.

The announcement takes the total amount made available for Invest in Renfrewshire to more than £8m.

Invest in Renfrewshire is a council-run programme with the twin aims of boosting the local economy and tackling youth unemployment, and includes a variety of funding packages, including graduate internships, retail improvement grants and financial support.

The employer recruitment incentive offers employers 50% of the wage costs of any new employee aged 16-24.

Councillor Macmillan said: “Jobs and the economy are two of the major priorities of this council, and we are making a substantial investment in both.

“The aim of the Employer Recruitment Incentive is to stimulate the Renfrewshire economy by making it easier for firms to offer employment to young people.

“While the terms of the funding only require the council to pay 50% of the costs of the employee at minimum wage (up to £6.31 per hour), we are offering firms an incentive to pay the Living Wage of £7.50.

“We want the council to help set the standard for the rest of Renfrewshire by offering a fair deal to employees.

“That’s why we brought in the Renfrewshire Living Wage for 800 of the lowest-paid council employees last November, and this funding will make it easier to extend that deal to the private sector.

“I would encourage all local firms to get in touch with the Invest in Renfrewshire team and find out how the employer recruitment incentive could help them.”

The one-year anniversary event saw around 150 representatives of various businesses signed up to the scheme gather at the Normandy Hotel in Renfrew to hear about the successes of the past 12 months.

Visitors heard from employees and young people who have benefitted from being part of Invest.

Awards were presented to three firms judged to have made big contributions to the scheme: Bray Controls Ltd, Inchinnan; Cairellot Learning Centre, Bishopton; and Ingliston Country Club, Bishopton.

For more information about Invest in Renfrewshire, call 0300 3000 144, email invest@renfrewshire.gov.uk or visit www.investinrenfrewshire.com.