Nominations are now open for the 2018 Renfrewshire Employability Awards celebrating the successes of people supported through Renfrewshire’s Local Employability Partnership programmes.

RDC Invest awards 6.9.17 Celebrating Success
Renfrewshire Employability Awards
6.9.17
Paisley Town Hall

It is the fifth year of the popular awards organised on behalf of the partnership by Renfrewshire Council’s economic development service Invest in Renfrewshire.

Invest work closely with more than 1000 local businesses to support Renfrewshire residents from its base at Paisley’s Russell Institute building.

Together, the programme provides direct access to vacancies, work experience, training, personal support and finance.

There are nine awards across a range of categories including Most Promising New Entrepreneur and Apprentice of the Year. The awards also recognise school pupils and people building their CV through volunteering as they prepare for the world of work.

Last year’s glittering celebrations recognised top intern Debbie Campbell, whose work with award-winning community charity I Am Me Scotland raised awareness of disability hate crime.

Johnstone High School pupil Morgan Spence won the Youth CV builder award, the Kilbarchan teenager’s stop-motion film-making skills being viewed more than a million times online.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “The Renfrewshire Employability Awards are always an excellent event, recognising new employees making a real difference to local businesses and celebrating the successes of those who transform their lives and future careers through involvement in Renfrewshire’s employability programmes. I would encourage people to submit their nominations as soon as possible.

“Invest in Renfrewshire organises these awards on behalf of the Local Employability Partnership in recognition of Renfrewshire’s success in this area and the hard work and effort put in by our local people.

“The Invest team themselves have built strong partnerships with the local business community and together are creating work and training opportunities for more than 1400 people each year. This is hugely important, reducing unemployment and enabling our local economy to grow.”

Deadline for nominations is Friday 14 September 2018 with the awards ceremony taking place at Paisley Town Hall in November.

The ever-popular event is also an opportunity to thank local businesses for their contributions which has helped the Renfrewshire economy grow significantly in recent years.

“In June we set out a five-year commitment to help the people most in need into work,” added Councillor Nicolson. “We will help communities facing deprivation and those unemployed and underemployed, changing people’s opportunities and making the most of the major areas of growth coming to Renfrewshire in areas such as childcare, tourism and manufacturing.

“These annual awards are a great way to celebrate the successes and acknowledge the many partners playing their part in creating a thriving Renfrewshire, open for business.”

For full details of the awards and to make a nomination, visit: www.investinrenfrewshire.com/awards-2018/

Get ready to raise a glass as Scotland’s biggest full-day whisky event comes to Paisley as part of The Spree Festival 2018.

The National Whisky Festival (NWF) will take place at Paisley Town Hall on Saturday 13 October and will see two sessions of drams, masterclasses, food, whisky related arts, crafts and a fantastic programme of live music.

The Spree festival is one of the highlights of Paisley’s annual cultural calendar and takes place in various venues around the town from 12 to 20 October.

The National Whisky Festival sessions will start at Paisley Town Hall from 12pm – 3.30pm and 4.15pm – 7.45pm and by purchasing a ticket whisky lovers will be able to enjoy:

  • entrance to one of the 3.5-hour sessions
  • access to over 50 whiskies on the tasting floor
  • two £5 discount vouchers for use on purchases at the on-site bottle shop
  • a complimentary line-up of fantastic live music
  • your own NWF branded Glencairn crystal nosing glass to use on the day and take home
  • access to masterclasses (ticketed separately)
  • official festival programme

Colin Campbell, National Whisky Festival organiser, said: “The National Whisky Festival is a combined celebration of the best of Scottish culture and our national drink.

“The event at Paisley Town Hall will see a whole host of exhibitors and distilleries in attendance, each carefully considered to provide the most enjoyable experience of whisky tasting and entertainment on the day.

“We couldn’t be more excited to bring the festival to Paisley as part of The Spree Festival 2018 for a brilliant day of drams, delicious food and thrilling live music.”

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said: “We are delighted to welcome the National Whisky Festival to Paisley as part of this year’s Spree Festival.

“The Spree Festival is one of the highlights of Paisley’s annual cultural events calendar and has continued to go from strength to strength as it enters its seventh year.

“Hosting an event such as the National Whisky Festival shows Paisley’s ability to host large-scale events and we can’t wait to welcome visitors from all over to Paisley Town Hall to enjoy a celebration of whisky and the best of Scottish culture.”

Visitors to the festival will also be able to enjoy delicious food from local restaurants and street food vendors, a craft beer bar and an on-site bottle shop provided by the Good Spirits Company.

The inaugural National Whisky Festival took place at Glasgow’s SWG3 in January 2017 as part of the city’s Celtic Connections festival.

The Spree Festival is run by Renfrewshire Council and programmed by Synergy Concerts and Renfrewshire Leisure.

Martha Reeves and the Vandellas will perform at a special Closing Gala show at Paisley Town Hall on Saturday 20 October alongside the London African Gospel Choir who will perform Paul Simon’s Graceland.

Black Sabbath guitarist and rock music legend Tony Iommi will also appear at Paisley Town Hall on Friday 12 October for a special show giving music fans the inside story of his career – called ‘Tony Iommi in conversation with Phil Alexander: A Life in Music’.

Other big-name acts coming to Paisley for this year’s Spree include The Orb, ex-Kraftwerk member Wolfgang Flür, Gang of Four, Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert, Big Minds (made up of members of Big Country and Simple Minds), Vieux Farka Touré, The Wandering Hearts and more.

The Wee Spree will also be back as part of the festival with plenty of fun activities to keep the kids entertained during the October holidays.

Tickets for all shows (including the National Whisky Festival) are on sale now via The Spree Festival website. Visit www.thespree.co.uk

Primary One pupils at a Renfrewshire school are learning how to read and write from aptly named teachers – Mrs Reid and Mrs Wright.

Ms Reid and Wright at Brediland Primary School Renfrewshire 15.8.18

As Brediland Primary School in Paisley welcomes its latest intake, the teachers admit that their pairing has raised a chuckle among colleagues.

Maureen Reid, 48, who’s taught at the school for 14 years, said: “Neither of us actually realised at first, it was a colleague who made the connection and he certainly found it very funny.

“I don’t think the younger children will make the connection but I’m sure the older children and parents will.

“We will work very closely together with lots of interaction between the two classes so I’m sure there will be lots of comments.”

Her fellow teacher, Audrey Wright, 40, said: “I’ve been at the school for eight years and this is my first year teaching primary one. I’m really looking forward to it. I think our names will raise a smile from the parents.”

Depute Head Teacher Lisa Robertson said: “The new Primary One children that we welcome to Brediland this session have had a head start.  What better way to begin to learn at school than with a teacher called Mrs Reid and a teacher called Mrs Wright?

“Surely only good things can come from this.”

Schools across Renfrewshire are recording improvements in pupil’s reading, writing and numeracy skills thanks to the innovative projects introduced as part of the Scottish Government’s Attainment Challenge.

One pioneering project between Renfrewshire Council and the University of Strathclyde has led to an improvement in children’s literacy attainment regardless of their background.

The Renfrewshire Literacy Approach, funded by the local authority and the Scottish Government, is a teacher and leadership training programme designed to enhance knowledge and skills in the teaching of reading.

There have been improvements made in pupils’ reading age scores across primary three to seven, while further analysis also indicates that the teaching programme may have had the greatest positive impact on children living in the most deprived areas.

It also shows a positive increase in pupil attainment at all stages, particularly for those children who have previously struggled with aspects of learning to read.

Renfrewshire SNP Councillors have decided that they will not support changes to the existing parking arrangements in Johnstone and Renfrew after consideration of the outcome of the consultation process.


The proposals included parking controls and charges in Johnstone and Renfrew town centres and they will be presented at Renfrewshire Council’s next Infrastructure, Land and Environment policy board on August 29th. Following a lengthy consultation process and a final presentation from council officers highlighting the recommended outcomes, the SNP administration group have confirmed that they will not pursue any of the proposed changes. 

Renfrew Town Hall taken by Natalie Murie
Cllr Cathy McEwan, Convener of the Infrastructure, Land and Environment Board said:

“When these proposals were first put forward for consultation, we stated that any proposals would clearly need to demonstrate the benefit to the local communities. We have listened and based on the information we have and the feedback received locally, there is no clear consensus for the introduction of parking charges in Johnstone and Renfrew. I am pleased that the SNP group have arrived at this decision collectively and decisively. It is the right decision for the communities of Renfrew and Johnstone.”

Cllr Emma Rodden who represents Johnstone North, Kilbarchan, Howwood and Lochwinnoch further stated:

 

“We said at the outset that we needed the consultation process to be thorough and complete. Residents of Johnstone and Renfrew can be confident that we were listening to all the opinions expressed. We sought out your views and we fully considered all the issues in coming to our decision. We are thankful to everyone who engaged with us during the consultation.”

Thousands of people turned out in Johnstone on Saturday to see fire engines, past and present, showcased in the town centre.

The day kicked off with emergency vehicles from across the years parading from Johnstone Fire Station into Houston Square, where they remained for the afternoon, giving everyone the chance to climb on board and learn how firefighting has advanced through the years.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service undertook several demonstrations throughout the day, showing people what the impact can be when a chip pan bursts in to flames.

The event was hosted by Renfrewshire Council in partnership with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Heritage Trust.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “The Fire Engine Rally is always a highlight of our events calendar and a firm favourite for the people of Johnstone.

“Events like this really benefit the local communities as they bring visitors in to the town and increase footfall to local traders.

Renfrewshire’s packed events schedule continues for the rest of the year, so make sure you check out what’s coming up next!”

For upcoming events in Renfrewshire visit www.paisley.is or www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events.

Johnstone Fire Engine Rally is set to attract huge crowds in the town centre when it returns on Saturday 11 August.

fire engine rally at jonstone12.8.17

Fire engines from throughout the years will parade from Johnstone Fire Station at 11am into the town centre, ending in Houston Square where there will be a host of activities on offer for all the family until 4pm.

The event is being hosted by Renfrewshire Council in partnership with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Heritage Trust.

Fire engine rally at johnstone 12.8.17

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service will undertake a variety of dramatic demonstrations to give an insight to how they respond to emergencies.

fire engine rally at jonstone12.8.17

Visitors to the event will also benefit from free internet access, with free public wifi rolled out in Johnstone’s town centre earlier this year.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron will be in attendance and will welcome all to the event.

Provost Cameron said: “The Fire Engine Rally is a family favourite in Johnstone and I can’t wait to take part again this year.

Fire engine rally at johnstone 12.8.17

“The fire engine parade is always a spectacular sight and I’m looking forward to seeing the wide range of historic vehicles as they drive through the town.

“This event provides a fantastic opportunity to see how far technology has advanced in the past few decades, as well as having an educational purpose with the safety demonstrations from The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

“It’s an enjoyable day out for all the family and I’d encourage everyone to come down and get involved.”

For further information visit www.paisley.is

Renfrewshire’s young people continue to achieve success in their exam results with around a fifth of S5 pupils gaining five or more Highers, an increase of two per cent on last year.

In S4, more than 90 per cent of pupils gained National 4s, with 63 per cent achieving three or more National 5s, an increase of one per cent on last year.

Almost half – 45 per cent – gained five or more National 5s.

Around a fifth of S6 pupils achieved three or more Highers this year and one or more Advanced Highers.

Across the board, Renfrewshire’s exam results are in line with last year’s, which was the most successful results so far.

Education and Children’s Services Convener for Renfrewshire Council, Councillor Jim Paterson, said: “I’d like to congratulate all of Renfrewshire’s young people on their exam results. Each of you have worked incredibly hard and should be proud of what you have achieved.

“I also thank all the teachers, school support staff and parents who supported our pupils through their exams.

“Renfrewshire is ambitious for all its children and young people to have the best start in life and reach their full potential. Our exam results are encouraging, and we remain committed to do more to help children and young people into positive destinations, regardless of their background or start in life.

“Exam results are a big deal, but it is also the work that young people put in across the year and in subsequent years that counts. No matter what your results are, there is no wrong path. There are always a number of paths you can take towards your goal.

“If you need support, get in touch with the Skills Development Scotland helpline or visit the UCAS website for advice on clearing.”

For the Skills Development Scotland helpline, call 0808 100 8000.

To get support with clearing, visit www.ucas.com.

_______________________

Gryffe High School pupils celebrate their exam results

Pupils from Gryffe High School in Houston, Renfrewshire, were excited to open their exam results.

One teenager whose results are taking him all the way to Oxford is S6 pupil Euan Huey.

Euan, who opened his results at the school, said: “I was sitting with a conditional offer to study History at Oxford this morning. Everything was resting on these results. It was terrifying and has been for a good couple of months. It’s such a relief to open them today and find out I’ve got three As at Advanced Higher.”

Keeping it in the family, Euan’s twin sister, Maisie, also gained three Advanced Highers. She said: “I got two As and a B at Advanced Higher. I had an unconditional offer to study English Literature at Glasgow University, so while I didn’t need these results to get in, it was a good year and I learned a lot.”

Colin Johnson, Headteacher at Gryffe High School, said: “Exam results day is nerve-wracking, and I’m pleased that so many young people in our school have achieved what they wanted. All pupils worked exceptionally hard and they have been supported by dedicated teachers, school support staff and their parents. It’s a joy to see their faces as they open their results and celebrate with their friends.”

Residents can now get local news direct to their smartphone as Renfrewshire Council launch a new email news service.

The new service allows people to sign-up and choose topics that they are interested in and launches with five options – council news roundup, a weekly what’s on guide, schools and nurseries news, business news and Paisley town centre updates.

Available to sign-up from Wednesday 1 August on the council website, each newsletter can be read on smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs that can access emails.

Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We know people want to know the latest news and updates on the go, and they also want to receive the news that interests them.

“We’re launching e-alerts for people who live, work and study in Renfrewshire, or are keen on visiting the area, and have produced five news options that should interest everyone. So, whether you are a parent of young or school-aged children, working for a local business or just interested in what’s on in the area, there will be a topic for you.

“We will be offering more options in the coming months, such as updates on bin collections, roadworks and other service information we know people will be interested in receiving. And will use feedback to make sure we are providing news and information that matters.

“To sign-up, all people need to do is visit our website, enter their email address and postcode, then select the topics they want to know – and that’s it.”

For more information and to sign-up for e-alerts, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/e-alerts.

The multi-million pound programme of investment in Renfrewshire’s roads network is well underway with the resurfacing of main routes across the area being completed.

New road surfacing at Barloan Renfrew 31.7.18

The £7.2million investment in Renfrewshire’s roads in 2018/19 represents the single biggest investment ever in the roads network and is being delivered as part of the continuing physical and economic regeneration of the area.

Major resurfacing work has taken place on more than a third of all carriageways in the planned programme so far with key routes such as Broadloan in Renfrew and Old Greenock Road in Inchinnan having been successfully completed already.

The programme is also addressing footways across Renfrewshire and six projects have already undertaken as part of the multi-million investment.

A further 33 roads have also undergone minor repairs which will protect them from future deterioration.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “We recognised that the condition of Renfrewshire’s roads was a key priority for those who live and work in the area which is why we invested accordingly in this year’s budget.

“The work is progressing well with more than a third of the work planned on carriageways already completed and this is making a substantial difference to the quality of the main routes in the area.

“A key focus has been placed on undertaking high-quality repairs and there has been an increased resource commitment to post-repair inspections to ensure a long-term benefit is achieved.

“While we recognise that road works can be frustrating for motorists, these necessary works will make a clear improvement to the quality of our roads and every effort is being undertaken to minimise disruption for motorists while the works take place.”

Further resurfacing works set to take place in the short-term include Lonend in Paisley and Ferry Road in Bishopton.

The resurfacing work is being complimented by an ongoing programme of pot hole repairs to improve the overall quality of Renfrewshire’s roads network.

For full details on the roads programme for 2018/19 visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/roads2018-19.

A new customer service excellence training scheme has been launched to ensure Paisley is primed to welcome visitors to its events and attractions in the coming years.

Paisley Welcomes Event 23.5.18

Customer experience is a key part of any visitor’s impressions of a place and the new Paisley Welcomes programme will provide enhanced training to those coming into contact with visitors covering everyone from volunteers and hospitality and leisure workers to retail staff and taxi drivers.

The Paisley Welcomes project is a key pillar of the Renfrewshire Visitor Plan 2018-2021. The programme is an online module which covers both customer service training and information about Paisley and Renfrewshire. The training is open to individuals as well as businesses.

Interested parties can register for the online module. The first 2,000 people to sign up will be able to complete it free of charge as Renfrewshire Council and Scottish Enterprise are helping to fund the scheme. A wide range of users can benefit from taking part – from school leavers wishing to develop their skills through to front of house staff who are often the first point of contact for visitor questions.

The overall aim is to create a consistent customer experience, but it will also encourage cross-selling leading to visitors staying longer and spending more, and create repeat visitation.

Leader of Renfrewshire Council, Councillor Iain Nicolson, said: “The Paisley Welcomes skills development project offers a great opportunity for individuals and businesses to showcase the very best of Paisley and Renfrewshire and is one of the pillars of the Visitor Plan. The project will also support the delivery of a number of key strategic priorities over the next three years – including the Paisley 2021 Legacy Plan and the Renfrewshire Events Strategy.

“It is a great opportunity for businesses to enhance their customer offer and I would encourage all interested parties to register for the project and take advantage of the first 2,000 free training places subsidised by the council and Scottish Enterprise.”

Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, Bob Grant, said: “This is a great opportunity for businesses in Renfrewshire to get involved to provide the best experience possible for visitors while helping upskill staff in the area. We know that businesses want help to improve their services and customer offer and this is a fantastic opportunity to put our best foot forward.”

The programme is based on the well-established Glasgow Welcomes best practice, which all of the Commonwealth Games volunteers went through. It supports the drive for destination development but also supports the new focus on the wider Glasgow City Region development.

A number of local businesses have already voiced their support for the project and have pledged to sign up for the module.

The Glynhill Hotel and Leisure Club General Manager, Graeme Gibson, said “We will be putting our staff through the Paisley Welcomes training. The more economically vibrant the area is the greater the opportunities are for us as a business. It will enable us to engage with other businesses as well as upskill our team which will in turn help grow the local economy and we will benefit as a natural result of that.”

Local restauranteur, Colette Cardosi, said: “Our staff are passionate about Paisley and about their service. Paisley Welcomes will help enhance the skills our staff already have and enable them to provide an enhanced level of excellent service so that customers feel welcome and well looked-after whenever they come into any of our establishments.

“Another major benefit of Paisley Welcomes is that is enhances consistency and excellence across the board and encourages a more collaborative, partnership approach to local businesses working together.”

There is consistency and passion across the board. Working in partnership with other local businesses – joining businesses up collaborative approach with other business owners all about community and reaching out Welcomes enhances that consistency with other local businesses.

The town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid generated profile and positivity and established the idea that Paisley can harness the power of our culture and heritage assets to transform the area’s future.

The new Paisley.is destination brand will continue the work to transform place perceptions by signposting residents and visitors to everything Paisley and Renfrewshire has to offer. This can only work if the whole area works together to do so.

To find out more or to sign up please visit: https://paisley.is/paisley-welcomes/.