Local youngsters win jobs at Recruit finale.

A group of local young people were given a helping hand into the world of work at the glittering finale of a popular council-run youth employment programme.

The Recruit is loosely modelled on telly favourite The Apprentice and sees a group of young jobseekers take part in a series of business-based challenges.

The latest instalment of the programme featured 38 local unemployed young people and took place throughout February and March.

The awards ceremony in Paisley Town Hall – presented by DJ George Bowie – saw 200 family members, Invest in Renfrewshire employers and invited guests.

A total of 16 young people have found jobs through the programme, with two more set to go through final interviews in the next week. A further eight were offered training opportunities with the council.

On the night James Campbell, 23, from Paisley, was named as the Top Recruit. A delighted James said: “I was gobsmacked to find out I was Top Recruit – the whole programme has been fantastic.

“Before I was on The Recruit my confidence was low – there were so many things I would have said I wasn’t. But now – thanks to all the things the Recruit team has taught us – I would look at all the things I can do.”

Darren McCormack, 23, of Renfrew, was voted Recruit’s Choice by his team-mates for being the person they felt deserved special recognition.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan, who helped present some of the prizes on the night, said: “Once again, the young people on The Recruit programme have been a credit to themselves and to the area.

“They have earned the opportunities they were given tonight through their own hard work and I wish them all the best with their futures.

“Over the years, the programme has helped hundreds of local young people get ready for and find work, while being universally recognised as an enjoyable and rewarding experience for those who take part.

“The council has made tackling unemployment one of our biggest priorities through the Invest in Renfrewshire programme and we are proud to be able to run a programme as well-supported and well-regarded as this.

“Once again, we would like to thank the local businesses and organisations who offered their time and expertise to run challenges and who have helped sponsor the programme, as without them The Recruit wouldn’t be the success it is.”

On the night, the Recruits handed over a cheque for £1,570 to Accord Hospice, having raised the money through a charity fundraising challenge.

The full list of young people taken on by local companies through the programme is as follows: James Moore (Miller Joinery), Alexander Crossan (Hamilton Bros), Tyron Dingle (Signs Express), Sean Kelly (Steam Wheeler), John Campbell (St Mirren FC), Darren McCormack (Trident House), Robert Cherry (Jetcut), Callum Wilson (Matrix Uniform), Kelly Roskell and Tasja Lennox (both Healthier Business) and Sean McLean (Showcase Cinema).

Three others – Andrew Douglas, Alice Ferguson and James Campbell – have been given posts within Renfrewshire Council, while Zoe Carroll and Paul Callaghan have been taken on by Renfrewshire Leisure.

The Recruit will be back in the summer with a programme for S5/6 school pupils, set to start in June.


New Recruit for Renfrewshire Chamber The Chamber has been supporting Renfrewshire Councils, The Recruit since it started in 2010. Based loosely around the BBC’s The Apprentice, a number of secondary school leavers under take a summer of business related challenges.

The Top Recruits win real paid jobs for a year – with the Chamber offering the position of Management Trainee. This year’s winner was Alison Fraser from Elderslie who went to Johnston High.

renfrewshire-chamber-commerceCommenting on her Recruit experience, Alison said “Throughout The Recruit programme I made many new friends, gained various different skills and greatly improved my confidence. And of course I won my job in the Chamber – which I still can’t believe I got! Being at the Chamber for a month, it has opened my mind to many diverse aspects of work and I have been introduced to many influential people who have put given me great advice.

Throughout my year here I hope to meet many more fascinating people, hear about their businesses and how they have achieved their success. After my year at the Chamber I plan on going to The University of the West of Scotland to study Social Sciences.

For more info on the Chamber visit

Photographed – Recruit host George Bowie, Chamber job winner Alison Fraser and Chamber CEO Bob Davidson


Renfrewshire’s Recruits took to the catwalk with not one but two fashion shows in a busy Paisley shopping centre to raise money for charity.

The 45 young people taking part in this year’s Recruit programme were given the task of planning and staging their own fashion show on a busy Saturday afternoon in Paisley’s Piazza Shopping Centre.

The teams had to plan and source every detail of their show from the music, clothes, hair and make-up.

They were also then tasked with taking part in a special Piazza fashion show with each team being allocated a store within the centre whose new in-store clothes they had to promote.

Choreographer Susanne McNeil helped the Recruits master their moves for the catwalk and came along to mark them on the day.

They were also supported by two stylists from James Martin Hairdressing of Causeyside Street in Paisley, who helped style the Recruits’ hair on the day to match their themes.

The Recruit is a council-run youth employment project loosely based on telly favourite The Apprentice, which sees young hopefuls compete through a series of business-based challenges, with jobs on offer for the winners.

The hugely-popular programme has taken place in Renfrewshire since 2010, but this summer sees two editions running simultaneously – one for S5/6 pupils, and another for unemployed 16-19-year-olds.

A winning team was named from each of the two groups.

Team Skyline won from the 16-19 programme. Taryn McGrath, 18, said: “The day was very stressful and my team members were very nervous beforehand. However, after getting on the catwalk it was amazing and my nerves went away. My team would carry out the Fashion Show everyday if we could!”

From the fifth and sixth year programme, Team InCepto were named winners.

Daniel Carroll, 17, said: “I had an amazing time at the Fashion Show and it was a great experience. I thought everyone did exceptionally well and should feel so proud of themselves for raising money for such a worthy cause.”

As well as running and performing in the fashion shows, the Recruits collected donations for charity from the audience. All money raised on the day will go to the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS).

You’re Hired! Renfrewshire names its Recruits

Seven young people from across Renfrewshire were stunned to hear the words ‘You’re hired’ as the winners of The Recruit were named.

The surprise news was revealed at a black-tie finale event hosted by Radio Clyde’s George Bowie to mark the end of the summer-long Apprentice-style scheme.

26 young people, all fifth and sixth year pupils from Renfrewshire schools, have spent the last 12 weeks taking part in The Recruit with the aim of earning an £18,000 job at the end of it.

However at the finale event, in Paisley Town Hall, it was revealed that not one but seven jobs were in fact up for grabs.

The overall Top Recruit, winning an £18,000 a year job with KDS ltd, was named as SarahJane Sarkhosh, from Renfrew.

SarahJane said: “Words cannot describe how I feel. I’m completely overcome with emotion and I’m so optimistic about the year ahead. I want to say well done to everyone. Everybody has done so well and I’ve made such good friends. We’ve watched each other all grow and develop skills we didn’t know we had. I am so proud.”

SarahJane’s new boss Stevie Kidd, managing director of KDS Ltd, said: “I had my own business when I was 17 and I felt that this is about giving something back to the community. I have got a passion for the next generation and do a lot of presentations in schools. A lot of kids don’t have any role models. There is a lack of leadership so I wanted to get involved to see if there are any young people with potential to work with us.

“SarahJane’s is going to be spending time learning every aspect of the company then we are really going to focus on what she wants to do with her life.”

The Recruit was run by Renfrewshire Council in partnership with local businesses and organisations to give young people practical experience and advice on starting a career in business.

Since the beginning of June the young people have worked in five separate teams and taken part in seven business challenges, as well as presentations and Q&A sessions with top entrepreneurs.

They also took part in courses in customer care, stress management, presentation skills, assessment centre and interview skills as well as raising funds for charity.

On the night, held at Paisley Town Hall, individual awards, a Top Team award and the Top Recruit award were presented.

Top Recruit , sponsored by KDS ltd – SarahJane Sarkhosh

Top Team, sponsored by Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, – Team Stimulus (Katie Wu, SarahJane Sarkhosh, Stephen McDonald, Lindsey Byrne, Finlay Allardice)

As well as the Top Recruit, the following jobs were also announced:

Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce management trainee – Finlay Allardice, Johnstone High School.

Connaught Ltd, Housing Liaison Trainee – Nicole Wilson, Park Mains High School.

KDS ltd, trainee sales and marketing administrator – Lynsey MacKay, Park Mains High School.

Renfrewshire Council, Modern Apprentice Business Administrator – Angela Wilson, Parkmains.

Cosmopolitan Hotels, 2 Trainee Hotelier – Lindsey Byrne, Castlehead High School and Gemma Powell, Park Mains High.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Derek Mackay said: “All of the young people who took part have shown fantastic initiative, commitment and enthusiasm. They have stepped up to every challenge thrown at them and at no point did anyone say there was something they could not do. We’ve seen them all grow in confidence and watched them develop skills some of which they may not have even known that they had. They should all be incredibly proud of themselves, as we are of them. I’ve no doubt that every one of them has a bright future ahead and this is very promising for Renfrewshire as a whole. I hope this year’s Recruit contestants have inspired other young people to take part in this innovative project in future.”