Inside Renfrewshire's Skills and Employability hub

A new Skills Action Plan will increase the number of local people in work and provide a boost for Renfrewshire businesses, according to Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson.

The Council Leader will present the three-year plan for councillors to consider at the Leadership Board on Wednesday (19 February).

Inside Renfrewshire's Skills and Employability hub

Skills experts from Renfrewshire’s Economic Leadership Panel have developed the detailed plan which will support the growth of expanding and emerging local sectors including manufacturing, tourism, care and the creative industries.

It will also ensure the workforce is ready to capitalise on an estimated 35,000 job openings forecast for the region over the next 10 years as people retire and change roles.

And the plan sets out actions to help bring 3000 working-age people back into the local workforce and radically reduce the number of local businesses reporting skills gaps and shortages.

Outside the Russell Institute

Councillor Nicolson said: “We have a strong local economy and want to grow this further and ensure the benefits it brings reach everyone, helping people to gain employment and the skills they need to succeed. Renfrewshire benefits from good schools, a college and a university all on our doorstep, which gives us an excellent platform on which to build.

“However, we also recognise that many local employers face skills gaps and shortages, while new technologies are rapidly changing the way we work, so it’s vital that all skills agencies work together. The Skills Action Plan provides us with a road map to grow the local workforce and bolster Renfrewshire businesses now and in the coming years.”

Amongst the actions are plans for enhanced apprenticeship opportunities, a business peer-to-peer mentoring programme, tailored careers advice at schools and a young entrepreneur incubator space.

Gordon McGuinness, Director of Industry and Enterprise at Skills Development Scotland (SDS), said: “To realise its economic ambitions, Renfrewshire will need an adaptive and resilient workforce with employers right at the heart of shaping skills.

“This new Skills Action Plan offers a blueprint for how such a dynamic and responsive skills system can be created and Skills Development Scotland is committed to working with industry and its full range of partners to deliver on those ambitions for both individuals and employers.”

The skills plan is one of a series of priority actions identified by Renfrewshire’s Economic Leadership Panel to accelerate inclusive economic growth.

The panel, which pools expertise from across the private and public sector, was established in 2017 and last year unveiled a 10-year strategy for the region.

James Lang, Chair of Renfrewshire’s Economic Leadership Panel and Scottish Leather Group Director, said: “Last September we set out our strategic ambitions for Renfrewshire over the next 10 years and it is clear that having a skilled and knowledgeable workforce underpins everything we are working towards.

“I am delighted to see this action plan get underway and look forward to working together with colleagues on the panel to provide the local knowledge, passion and drive that will help deliver a thriving local economy.”