The Renfrewshire Employability Awards brought local movers and shakers out in force to recognise and celebrate the hard work, talent and commitment that so clearly characterises Renfrewshire’s employers and employees. Guests at the glittering ceremony in Renfrew’s Normandy Hotel were entertained by TV and Radio presenter, Des McLean.

In the three years since its foundation, the Invest in Renfrewshire partnership has created 882 new work opportunities. ‘Invest’ has also helped 400 local businesses with their growth plans. The Awards recognise the work and cooperation that built this success.

Councillor MacMillan said: “All the finalists are an inspiration. It’s important that we appreciate how hard people are working and how ready they are to learn, innovate and share their success. The Awards process finds people and businesses who are building better futures for themselves, their organisations and for all of Renfrewshire’s communities.”

All the finalists were recognised as having made excellent contributions to their workplaces and the night’s winners were chosen as examples of Renfrewshire’s excellence.

The winners were:

  • Top Intern, Caroline Guthrie-Tate of Kuka Studios
  • Best Trainee, Lesley Ann McKellar of Hugh Smiley Nursery
  • CV Builder, Ewan Thomson, Gleniffer High School
  • Most Promising New Employee, Rhiannon McMillan, Bray Controls UK Ltd
  • Most Promising New Entrepreneur, Ross McGaffney, Commando -X-Fit
  • Progression in Work, Beth Leitch, Paisley Autocare Ltd
  • Renfrewshire Apprentice of the Year, Steven McFadyen, Thermofisher Scientific
  • Achiever of the Year Award, Sean Folger, Paisley South Housing Association

The Awards event took place a week ahead of the official opening of Invest in Renfrewshire’s new business incubator, the InCube. Thirteen young enterprises have each won a year’s place in the newly refurbished premises at 127 High Street, Paisley. There, they will benefit from business support, training and from being part of a community of entrepreneurs. InCube’s winners, who impressed judges with their innovation, commitment and enterprise, were announced as:

Bella Brilla, Ltd; Nina Mare; Pea Cooper Millinery; Guitar Slide, Ltd; Vonnie Print Designs; Subsafe Audio Ltd; Tatty Rose Ltd; Pop Up! Scotland; D.O.M. Art, Ltd; Treetops Boutique; Amy McGregor; Knit Knax and RAMH.

Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce was given a Special Recognition Award in appreciation of its unerring support for the principles and practical work of the Invest partnership.

A&D Logistics, of Johnstone also received a special Recognition Award for its work with schools and in developing an innovative traineeship to build careers and develop the skills needed in the logistics industry.

A third Special Recognition Award went to Paisley Autocare. This company has taken on four apprentice mechanics, employed a further trainee in administration and welcomed three young people on work experience placements.

In summing up the evening, Councillor Mark Macmillan said: “Occasions like this give us a flavour of the work and cooperation that’s happening throughout Renfrewshire. We can all be proud of the achievements we celebrated tonight. We can also be certain that as Renfrewshire’s economy continues to grow, our talent and drive will create even more success throughout our communities.”