Teams of landscaping trainees have been working throughout Paisley to clear overgrown paths, remove rubbish, weed vacant land and trim hedges and trees. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed by residents, who have been quick to thank them for their work in turning neglected areas into pleasant green spaces.
A resident of Abercorn Street in Paisley called the council to thank the team for clearing the waste area opposite his flat. He said: “The trees and weeds were cut back and the rubbish was uplifted. It’s now a pleasure to look at.”
This is all part of the council’s Invest in Renfrewshire initiative which supports business growth and creates work and training opportunities for Renfrewshire residents.
The team’s ten members were all unemployed before they took up the traineeship which last for six months and for which they are paid the Living Wage.
They all hope to get landscaping jobs with the council when their training is complete.
Connor Bryson, 16 of Hunterhill, Paisley is new to the programme. He said; “I like everything about this job, especially being part of the team.”
Stewart Kennedy from Houston has been with the team for three months. A joiner to trade, he said; “It’s brilliant being outdoors, making a difference around the town and meeting people who appreciate what we’re doing.
With Paisley going for UK City of Culture, it’s important that the place looks good and we’re proud to be part of making that happen.”
Sean Sweeney is from Glenburn and has also been in the team from its start.
He likes working with power tools and enjoys being part of the group; “Everything’s good about this,” he said, “We’re learning, we’re working and we’re making places look better.”
The team has been clearing areas that have no official owner and have, therefore, been at risk of neglect.
They work in Paisley Town Centre on Wednesdays and on sites throughout Renfrewshire during the rest of the week.
Councillor Roy Glen, Convener of the council’s Economy & Jobs Policy Board said; “This is one of the Invest in Renfrewshire programmes that is helping to reduce youth unemployment.
“These young people are being paid while they develop skills and gain experience that will help them find jobs.
“They are working in and for their communities and improving the environment for all our residents. It is heartening to hear how much local people appreciate the team’s effort.”