west college scotland

Last Friday 15 June, a total of 30 participants from colleges and training centres across Scotland gathered to compete the 44th Annual SNIPEF SkillPLUMB competition. The event, hosted by West College Scotland at their Paisley Campus, also welcomed over 200 professionals from the Plumbing industry who came to support workforce development and gain insight into the latest trade developments.

west college scotland

Andrew Fogarty, Head of Energy and Engineering at West College Scotland, said: “We were very honoured to be hosting the 2018 SNIPEF SkillPLUMB competition. It showcased the very best in young talent within a thriving and dynamic industry. We are very proud of our partnership with SNIPEF and are delighted to deliver plumbing apprenticeships in all three of our major campuses.”

The candidates taking part in the competition undertook practical exercises in copper pipework and lead work that were assessed and marked by a panel of technical experts. Apprentices from Tullos Training in Aberdeen who both work for Aberdeenshire firm Derek Scott Plumbing and Heating took home the top awards: Samuel Henderson in the lead competition and James McCall Smith in the copper competition.

Second prize in lead went to John Taylor who attends Glasgow Clyde College and who works for Evolve Plumbing Services Ltd and third prize went to Cameron Stewart of Moray College who works for DD Plumbing Services. In the copper competition, second prize went to Kyle McGeoghie of Perth College, who works for William Combe & Son Ltd and third prize went to Alexander Clouston of Inverness College, who works for Pipedream Plumbing Ltd.

The prizes were presented by Jamie Hepburn, MSP, Minister for Employability and Training and SNIPEF Past President Gerry Woods. In his Guest Address Mr Hepburn said:  “[Scotland’s young people] are offered a fruitful and rewarding experience through apprenticeships and I need you to go out and tell others what a great opportunity an apprenticeship can be.”

Fiona Hodgson, SNIPEF CEO said: “It is inspiring and reassuring to see the exceptionally high standard of skills the apprentices have demonstrated, our industry is in safe hands. They are a credit to the employers who take them on, the lecturers who teach them so well, and most importantly they are a credit to themselves in showing such dedication and determination to become the best they can be at their chosen trade.”

The winner of the copper competition may go on to represent Scotland at SkillBUILD UK in Birmingham in November where the highest scoring winners from the heats will compete in the UK final.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has welcomed the announcement that the £56 million Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre will be based in Renfrewshire.

The industry-led centre will offer pharmaceutical companies from start-ups to multinationals a unique service to develop new manufacturing techniques which speed up bringing new drugs to market.

The global market is worth £98 billion and this investment will put Scotland at the forefront of technology and innovation in medicine manufacturing, aiming to attract £80million of research and development investment in the next ten years.

Eighty high skilled jobs will be established at the Centre by 2023 with a further 90 jobs created or retained in companies during the design and build phase and post-construction.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“This is a fantastic endorsement for the Renfrewshire economy and the skilled workforce that we have locally. Renfrewshire has a proud reputation for high quality manufacturing and I am delighted that with the announcement that the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre will be based in Renfrewshire.

“This follows the announcement made by the Scottish Government a few months ago that the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland will also be in Renfrewshire. This is good news for the local economy and highlights the strength of the Renfrewshire economy.”

Plans to build a 21st-century learning and cultural hub on Paisley High Street are set to take a step closer – with councillors being asked to approve a comprehensive refurbishment of the building.

The council has earmarked a currently-empty retail unit at 22 High St – formerly the Internacionale clothes shop – for a new modern community facility to house the town’s library collection.

Initial plans had looked at demolishing the building and putting in a new structure – while retaining the existing listed façade.

But further detailed surveys of the site and assessment of costs have allowed officers to produce a new solution based on a comprehensive refurbishment of the current building, which can be done within budgets already set aside for the project.

The new facility will be a fully-accessible and digitally-connected space housing the library collections and offering a modern educational resource for the area’s pupils, students and adults in the heart of the High Street – helping drive footfall to the heart of the town.

It will eventually replace the current Paisley Central Library, which will leave its current location next to Paisley Museum in September when the museum closes for a £42m revamp to become an international-class destination based around Paisley’s unique heritage and collections.

Both projects are part of a £100m investment in the town’s venues and infrastructure as part of a wider plan to transform the area’s future using the power of its unique culture and heritage – which also includes internal revamps of Paisley Town Hall and Arts Centre.

Library operators Renfrewshire Leisure will open a temporary facility in the town centre to keep library services running until the new learning and cultural hub opens– expected to be summer 2021.

The learning and cultural hub project is being run by the council in partnership with Hub West Scotland – a Scottish-Government-backed firm who help public-sector bodies get value for money when investing in large infrastructure projects.

The project team will now produce designs for the building, while further site investigation works will continue over the summer. It is expected construction will start in late 2019.

Members of the Leadership Board will be asked to give the green light to the revised plan when they meet on Wednesday.

Council leader Iain Nicolson – who chairs the Leadership Board – said: “When completed this building will deliver a first-class learning resource for future generations of residents.

“Paisley is blessed with some stunning heritage buildings – but the downside is that can make them complex to revamp – which will be the case with this site.

“The building had previously been privately owned and will need a lot of work to get the interior into the right condition for this project – but we are confident we now have a solution which will do that.

“The benefit of having that on the High Street – other than bringing an empty unit back into use – is we drive footfall and new life to heart of the town centre, which will hopefully benefit traders.

“The project is just one strand of the programme of investment in our cultural facilities which is at the heart of the wider plan to transform the area’s fortunes by harnessing our unique cultural and heritage story.”

Making sure local communities benefit from Renfrewshire’s £274million City Deal projects was high on the list of topics discussed at Paisley North Community Council this week (Tues 12 June) attended by Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson.

The Council Leader is visiting community councils across the region to hear about their local issues and the visit to Beechwood Community Centre in Shortroods was the latest in the series of visits.

City Deal employment opportunities, engagement with the Council and grass cutting programmes were all on the agenda, which was well attended by councillors for the area.

Councillor Nicolson said: “When we were elected last year, I made a pledge to continue listening to communities and responding direct to their concerns and that is why I’ve been out and about attending community council meetings across the area, to hear for myself the issues that are being discussed and also where we can work more closely together to improve the quality of life for people.

“Being in close proximity to the airport, the investment in the City Deal projects will bring hundreds of jobs to the area and the investment in the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland will also create many training opportunities so we want to make sure we capitalise on this for local people so everyone can share in the benefit these developments will bring.

“We also discussed how we can work more closely together. We want to support communities to take pride in their place, tackle the issues that matter to them and have community backing. By hearing first hand their experiences and ideas, this gives us a great foundation to build on and I look forward to continuing these conversations as we move forward.”

A fifth round of entrepreneurs has taken the first steps to develop their businesses with the help of Renfrewshire Council.

InCube is an innovative business support programme, developed by Invest in Renfrewshire, where local creative start-ups can benefit from support to improve their growth.

Incube 16.5.18

Based on Paisley High Street, Incube provides talented creatives with the means and confidence to showcase their products, as well as providing them with the support and guidance to take their business further.

The entrepreneurs benefit from a package of support for up to nine months including free office and meeting space in Paisley town centre and one-to-one mentoring and coaching. They also gain access to funding opportunities, a range of workshops and high profile networking events.

Incube 16.5.18

Also present at InCube are Business Gateway and Prince’s Trust Scotland – meaning creatives can access business start-up support in a supportive environment.

Designer Sarah Johnstone, of FlipFlop Design Shop felt the InCube programme was a great opportunity to take on board valuable knowledge from experts and apply it to her own business, creating personalised flip flops.

Incube 16.5.18

Sarah added “It’s perfect for networking and learning alongside other creative, inspirational and like-minded people who have the same goal.”

As part of the programme, the businesses have the opportunity to have their products available for sale within the dedicated InCube shop, 9B Gilmour Street Paisley. During this time they are responsible for ensuring they can fulfil customer orders made within the shop to a high standard.

Designer Caitlin Mooney of Woolybox, a crochet subscription box service, applied to InCube as she was struggling to understand the legal matters of running your own business and, after losing her job, was keen to start focusing on something creative.

Incube 16.5.18

“I’m excited to see what my business holds for me in the future and hope that one day I can be my own full time boss.”

Other businesses supported in this round are children’s clothing brand Atelier Eva Art, textiles and homewares brands Obsidian Ore and Church & Jones, milliner Roberta Simpson, art inspired fashion designer Soheila Kenyani and Handmade Moments who specialise in teddy bears, jewellery and cards.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “InCube has been a tremendous success with local creatives being supported and nurtured to showcase their products and advance their business to the next level.

“It is important that we continue to support this innovative community who are producing exceptional products and who will help establish Paisley as a place where creativity thrives.”

As part of the programme, the businesses are asked to act as an advocate for InCube and often take an active role in promoting and selling their own products through taking stalls at Renfrewshire Council events and holding workshops.

For further information on Incube and to find out how to get involved, visit www.incube.ren

Bring along a garment you would like to wear again or keep wearing but needs to be adjusted to a new size, mended with some beautifying embroidery or adapted with a hem or a new zipper.

Our experienced facilitators will make suggestions and show you how. Most of the materials you will need are provided within the MakeSpace, however, if in doubt message us on Facebook – www.facebook.com/remodeyouth – and ask!


Tue, June 19, 2018

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– Airport launches industry-leading Campus Watch approach to remind small minority of passengers that disruptive behaviour will not be tolerated –

Glasgow Airport has today (Wednesday, June 13) launched this year’s Campus Watch drive ahead of the 2018 summer season to remind passengers that disruptive behaviour of any kind will not be tolerated.

Campus Watch was introduced in 2013 in partnership with Police Scotland to tackle disruptive behaviour at Glasgow Airport and provides training, advice and support to staff who interact with passengers on a daily basis. This includes check-in staff, security teams, bar and restaurant employees, retailers and airline crews.

One of the key aims of Campus Watch is early intervention. Staff across the campus are encouraged to report the details of any potential incident of disruptive behaviour to the airport’s central control room through a dedicated phone.

This information, including passenger description and travel details, is shared with staff across the airport campus via a rapid text alert system.

In addition to this, Glasgow Airport has also invested more than £10,000 this year to introduce a new digital radio system to help disseminate live Campus Watch intelligence across the terminal in addition to the text system.

Disruptive behaviour can cover a broad range of offences and actions can range from a verbal warning to arrest. As an example, if an incident is alcohol related the passenger involved will be warned about their behaviour by Police Scotland officers, refused service across all retail and catering outlets and gate staff will be notified in advance of their arrival. Gate staff can then speak to the passenger and determine if they should be permitted to board the aircraft.

Glasgow also took the unprecedented step this week to launch a national advertising campaign to remind passengers of their responsibilities when travelling through the airport this year.

Francois Bourienne, Chief Commercial Officer for Glasgow Airport’s parent group AGS Airports Ltd, said: “For many of our passengers, the airport experience signals the start of their holiday and there’s nothing wrong with this. We want to ensure our passengers continue to enjoy a memorable but ultimately safe and disruption-free experience.

“While it’s important to stress that the vast majority of passengers travelling through our doors do so responsibly and that incidents are extremely rare, Glasgow Airport continues to operate a zero tolerance approach to disruptive behaviour.

“Our Campus Watch system is effective because we work closely with our airline partners, retailers, caterers and Police Scotland representatives to address and often pre-empt incidents of disruptive behaviour at the airport.

“While we’ve chosen our peak summer period to promote this drive, Campus Watch is a year-round initiative. Thanks to our early-intervention approach to challenging disruptive behaviour, we’ve a seen a significant reduction in the number of incidents during the first five months of the year.

“However, one incident will always be one too many, particularly as disruptive behaviour can disproportionately affect a large number of passengers on board an aircraft.

“Campus Watch sends a clear message to what remains a very small minority of people acting in a disruptive manner that we continue to take a zero-tolerance approach to unacceptable behaviour.”


Other steps taken at Glasgow Airport as part of the Campus Watch initiative include:

  • Police Scotland patrols at the drop-off area ahead of potentially problematic flights
  • New Campus Watch marketing material displayed across the airport
  • Airlines make airport-based Police Scotland officers aware of group bookings
  • Police Scotland officers make themselves known to large groups arriving at the airport
  • Duty free staff will also remind passengers the alcohol they purchase is for export only and cannot be consumed in the airport or on board an aircraft
  • Regular Campus Watch drop-in sessions held for staff to learn more and share experiences
  • Campus Watch forum made up of airport partners meets regularly

Sergeant Clare Riddoch, who heads up Campus Watch at Glasgow Airport, said: “We work with our airport, retail, catering and airline partners to ensure incidents of disruptive behaviour are few and far between.

“On the rare occasion someone is disruptive their behaviour can have a significant impact and cause concern and misery for a large number of passengers, particularly if the incident occurs on board an aircraft.

“By creating a single point of contact with Campus Watch and delivering consistent messaging and regular training, thousands of people employed across the airport work together to tackle disruptive behaviour as soon as it becomes an issue.


“Campus Watch works, so much so that we’ve welcomed representatives from a number of other UK airports to the terminal for an overview of the operation and they’ve incorporated our approach into their own programmes.

“Key to our continued success is ensuring that we always look at ways to improve. The new radio system is an example of this and ensures we communicate Campus Watch messages immediately as they happen.

“It’s completely understandable that people want to start their holiday with a bit of fun, but they should always remember to behave appropriately and drink responsibly, making sure they’re fit to fly. Being drunk or disruptive in the airport or on board an aircraft will certainly cost them more than just their flight.”

Glasgow Airport, its airline partners, caterers and retailers are also signatories of the UK Aviation Industry Code of Practice on Disruptive Passengers launched last year. Like Campus Watch, the code has been designed to create a common, consistent approach to preventing and minimising disruptive behaviour.

Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association Karen Dee said: “Glasgow Airport’s Campus Watch initiative is a great example of our industry’s commitment to tackling the problem of disruptive passengers. Thankfully incidents of disruptive behaviour are a very rare occurrence, with data from the Civil Aviation Authority showing that the number of incidents is stable despite record passenger growth.

“However, where they do happen the impact can have serious consequences. That is why initiatives such as these at Glasgow Airport are so important.

“The AOA and our airport members are part of the UK Aviation Industry Code of Practice on Disruptive Passengers, which was developed with support from airport police, bars, restaurants and retailers as well as with airlines and the UK Government supports these efforts. The Code enables a common approach across UK aviation to ensure that everyone can enjoy a great start to their holiday.

“Together we make clear that disruptive behaviour, including due to excessive alcohol consumption, is not acceptable. Passengers should be aware that consequences of such behaviour could include losing a holiday because they are denied boarding as well as fines, flight bans and prison sentences for the most serious offences.”

Paisley and Renfrewshire North MP, Gavin Newlands, is backing a life-saving appeal from Cancer Research UK for more NHS cancer staff.

He attended a special event in Westminster last week (Wednesday 6 June) to launch the charity’s new campaign – ‘Shoulder to Shoulder Against Cancer’.

It encourages everyone to stand shoulder to shoulder with the NHS by calling on the UK Government to tackle the chronic shortage of staff who diagnose and treat the disease.

For 70 years the NHS has been at the forefront of fighting cancer, but with a growing and ageing population cancer services are struggling to cope with the increased number of diagnoses.

This means more staff are urgently needed to keep up with the demand for life-saving tests and treatments, yet already 1 in 10 NHS diagnostic posts are unfilled.

In the UK, cancer survival rates are still lagging behind the best in Europe and in Scotland many cancers are diagnosed at an advanced stage, when they are harder to treat successfully.

To help save more lives, Cancer Research UK is now urging the UK Government to commit to training and employing more NHS staff to diagnose and treat cancer earlier.

Gavin Newlands MP said: “More people are surviving cancer than ever before, thanks to the fantastic work of the NHS staff who turn breakthroughs in research into vital tests and treatments.

“But as the health service reaches its 70th birthday, it’s facing unprecedented challenges.

“Every year, 6800 people are diagnosed with cancer in Paisley and Renfrewshire North. With this number set to rise, it’s vital that we have an NHS which is fit to deliver world-class care for all cancer patients now and in the future.

“That’s why I’m backing Cancer Research UK’s call to stand shoulder to shoulder with the NHS against cancer, so that everyone has the best possible chance of surviving this devastating disease.”

To speed up and improve cancer diagnosis and treatment investment is needed in key professions, including radiographers and radiologists who carry out and interpret scans such as MRIs, endoscopists who look inside the body by inserting a tiny camera and pathologists who look for abnormal cells, as well as oncologists (cancer specialists), nurses and surgeons.

Shaun Walsh, Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns at Cancer Research UK, said: “We’re grateful to Gavin Newlands MP for his support. It’s up to all of us to stand shoulder to shoulder with the NHS against the disease.

“Without increased investment in NHS staff, we could see the death toll from cancer rising. But by acting right now and investing in the early diagnostic workforce, we could help prevent a crisis in the future and save many more lives.

“Today, 2 in 4 people survive their cancer. It’s our ambition for this to be 3 in 4 by 2034. That’s why we hope MPs, patients and the public get behind this vitally important campaign to help make our cancer services among the best in the world.”

To take action visit cruk.org/shouldertoshoulder or join the conversation on twitter #ShouldertoShoulder.

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Ahead of World Oceans Day today, a combined effort of more than 500 staff from Pernod Ricard in the UK: Pernod Ricard UK, Chivas Brothers and the Global Travel Retail division, sprang into action to tackle water and land pollution.

Activities took place across the UK including in central Scotland, where a 121-strong team of green-fingered employees headed to the River Clyde at Renfrew to restore the river bank. Throughout the day, employees helped to prune and cut back shrubs as well as clear litter from the water to create a cleaner habitat for wildlife to flourish.

The project was led by Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky business of Pernod Ricard, in partnership with the River’s Trust and The Clyde Foundation.

The restoration of the River Clyde is one of many global activities that form part of Responsib’All Day, a global day of action which sees 18,500 employees from Pernod Ricard affiliates around the world dedicate time and resources to support the group’s year-long global sustainability commitments.

Sandrine Ricard, Head of Sustainability and Responsibility, for Chivas Brothers, said:

“It was fantastic to see all our employees join together to restore the banks of the River Clyde. This great water resource is recovering from centuries of man-made pollution and alterations to the banks and bed. By assisting with the clean-up we are able to positively impact our communities providing local residents with a cleaner space and helping to improve the water quality in the river.

“This year’s Responsib’All Day activities are just a glimpse of our sustainability actions; we want to use this activity to set the foundations for building a legacy. Sustainability underpins everything we do and in the next stage of our journey we want to make an even bigger impact by calling on our colleagues, customers and other businesses to join us in taking action.”

Janice Kennedy, a Technical Agent at Chivas Brothers took part in the activity and said:

“It is fantastic to join with colleagues from all over Central Scotland to really make a difference in tackling water and land pollution in the heart of our community. I’m really proud to be playing a part in helping improve the River Clyde for the better. Having an opportunity to take part in this global day of action means we can truly dedicate our time and effort to the environment.”

Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, commented: “Congratulations Pernod Ricard on making this significant contribution to help our natural environment. We all have a responsibility to our environment and this simple yet effective initiative is a fine example to other large businesses.

“We want more companies to say no to unnecessary single use plastics. Through our 25 Year Environment Plan we have committed to eliminating all avoidable plastic waste and we will continue to take decisive action protect our precious environment.”

It is the first time the trio of businesses have aligned under a common theme, supporting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, ‘Clean Water and Sanitation’ and ‘Life on Land’. Both water and biodiversity are key to Pernod Ricard’s business and the Group believes companies have a responsibility to lead on environmental protection.

Additional projects saw teams across the country complete litter picks by the River Thames and at beachside locations around the UK including in Brighton, The Wirral, South West and Southend. In addition, Rain gardens were developed at Chiswick House & Gardens in London in a bid to reduce flooding, while in Speyside, Scotland, teams worked to restore the banks of the River Deveron.

Pernod Ricard signed a partnership with Impact 2030 to bring together figures from the private sector, civil society and academia to encourage company employees to help to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Responsib’All Day is just one activity which aims to support these goals. Most recently, Pernod Ricard announced a ban on non-biodegradable plastic straws and stirrers across its business.