Interns and entrepreneurs were among the outstanding talent recognised at the 2018 Renfrewshire Employability Awards.
Renfrewshire employers and employability services nominated local people who they’ve supported through the area’s employability programmes and the winners were announced at a glittering reception at Paisley Town Hall this week.
Television and radio presenter Bryan Burnett hosted the night with awards recognising people preparing for work, achieving in work and in-work progression.
They were awarded by employability partners across the region: West College Scotland; Skills Development Scotland; Developing Young Workforce (West); Engage Renfrewshire; Department of Work and Pensions; University of the West of Scotland; Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership and Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce
From the impressive list of finalists, nine winners were announced:
• Most Promising New Employee: Christopher Morris
• Most Promising New Entrepreneur: Bobby Quinn
• Top Intern: Rachael Gray
• Best Trainee: Toni Elliot
• CV Builder (Youth): Emma Gormley
• CV Builder (Adult): Lindsay Murray
• Apprentice of the Year: Rachael McGregor
• Progression in Work: Ronnie Lockhart
• Achiever of the Year: Amy Orr
More than 1000 local businesses support the Council’s Invest in Renfrewshire programme which is based at the Russell Institute building on Causeyside Street, Paisley. It helps 1400 people each year, providing direct access to vacancies, work experience, training, personal support and finance.
The night concluded with Special Recognition awards for local businesses who have gone the extra mile in helping people prepare and progress in work. These awards went to Glencoats Afterschool Care, Wholesale Domestic Equipment Company Ltd and Linstone Housing Association.
Renfrewshire Council Depute Leader Jim Paterson said: “These awards are always a proud occasion celebrating the outstanding successes of the people seizing the opportunities Renfrewshire’s employability programmes have given them.
“It is also a chance to give thanks to all the partner agencies and local businesses who are working collaboratively to deliver results. Together, our economy is growing and our employment levels now rank among the highest in Scotland.
“We are determined to build on this platform and this year committed five years of funding to further this, with support targeted to reach the people and the places who need it most.”
The awards are organised by Invest in Renfrewshire on behalf of the Renfrewshire Employability Partnership and the 2018 awards were sponsored by RAMH, Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce; Skills Development Scotland and Linstone Housing.
Find out more about employability programmes in Renfrewshire at:
• Photo 1 shows the award winners (l-r): Bobby Quinn, Rachael Gray, Emma Gormley, Christopher Morris, Amy Orr, Ronnie Lockhart and Lindsay Murray. (not pictured: Toni Elliot)
• Photo 2 shows the winners and finalists of the awards.
• Ronnie Lockhart is pictured with Bryan Burnett and Fiona MacKay, Head of Strategic Planning and Health Improvement, Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership.
• Amy Orr is pictured with Bryan Burnett and Sandra Black, Chief Executive, Renfrewshire Council.
• Emma Gormley is pictured with Bryan Burnett and Bob Davidson, Programme Director, Developing the Young Workforce West.
Further pictures available on request.
Ronnie Lockhart – Progression in Work
Ferguslie Park resident Ronnie Lockhart had been unemployed for 20 years before deciding to change his life. With the support of Invest in Renfrewshire, Ronnie started on a transitional employment programme as a gardener with Linstone Housing and has since flourished, completing a series of qualifications in everything from first aid and fire safety to cement rendering and landscaping. His commitment and positive approach combined with his natural aptitude has seen Ronnie gain the role of Grounds Maintenance Assistant with Tivoli landscaping services, where he recently transformed the grounds of his local Tannahill Centre.
Amy Orr – Achiever of the year
Low in confidence and coping with losing her mum, Amy Orr was struggling to find a job. Step in Project SEARCH, which supports young people with additional support needs. Over the nine-month programme and three work placements, Amy’s personality shone as she improved her confidence and transformed from scared-to-speak to addressing hundreds at her graduation ceremony. Her determination to succeed has seen Amy achieve her goal of employment, now enjoying her permanent position as a Housekeeper at Hunterhill Care Home and on top of this, Amy now has her own house and is also engaged.
Emma Gormley – CV builder Youth
Emma Gormley wanted to be a car mechanic, but was worried being female, coupled with her shyness, might thwart her dream. Undeterred, Emma spent her final year at Paisley Grammar building her CV in the best way possible, taking part in the Greenpower Programme at West College Scotland and studying a motor vehicle course part-time. Greenpower inspires engineers of the future by tasking Renfrewshire school pupils with building and racing a formula 24 race car. The driving force behind Renfrewshire’s Goldslam Team success – and setting the fastest lap time behind the wheel – Emma grew in confidence and after a rigorous recruitment process is now an apprentice mechanic at Arnold Clark, where she also acts as an ambassador encouraging more young females to consider a career in engineering.
Full list of 2018 Employability Awards finalists:
• Most Promising New Employee: Chris Cummings (Linstone Housing Association); Christopher Morris (YMCA); Jordan McWilliam (DM8 Signs)
• Most Promising New Entrepreneur: Bobby Quinn (Base Muay Thai Fitness Gym); Caroline Gormley (Made in Paisley); Laura Connor (Soaps by Laura)
• Top Intern: Amna Lateef (Renfrewshire Council); Cameron Kelly (Renfrewshire Council); Rachael Gray (Linstone Housing Association)
• Best Trainee: Amy McSloy (Renfrewshire Council); Euan Kilcullen (Renfrewshire Council); Toni Elliot (Barnardos)
• CV Builder (Youth): Caitlin Parry (Castlehead High School); Emma Gormley (Paisley Grammar); Michael Higgins (Linwood High School)
• CV Builder (Adult): Lindsay Murray (Home-Start Renfrewshire and Inverclyde); Lucia Nimmo (Impact Arts); Maryann Wright (The Tannahill Centre)
• Apprentice of the Year: Heather Mills (Renfrewshire Council); Jack Bain (Renfrewshire Council); Rachael McGregor (Scotia Handling Services Ltd)
• Progression in Work: Caitlyn McLearie (Ralston Out of School Care); Cameron Esplin (McTaggart Construction); Ronnie Lockhart (Tivoli / Linstone Housing Association)
• Achiever of the Year: Amy Orr (Hunterhill Care Home); James Kelly (STAR Project); Ronnie Lockhart (Tivoli / Linstone Housing Association)