Employability programmes in Renfrewshire have been rated the best in Scotland for the second year running as the latest national benchmarking report is published.
The Local Government Benchmarking Framework Indicator Profile, which rates the performance of all Scottish councils, showed Renfrewshire is performing at more than double the national average for assisting unemployed people into work through its employability services.
Renfrewshire’s dedicated employability team has helped more than 2500 people find new jobs in the past three years, while the area’s employment rate is considerably higher than the national average – in particular for youth employment.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We’re delighted to once again be ranked the top performing council in assisting people into work and this is a key priority for the council.
“We want to give people opportunities to get into the workplace and our teams do fantastic work in supporting those out-of-work to find the right destination.”
Renfrewshire is ranked in the top eight councils in 22 indicators, including the percentage of pupils to gain five or more awards at Level 5, satisfaction with leisure facilities and cost of trading standards services.
Councillor Nicolson added: “A key aim of the council is to provide our young people with the best learning environment possible and our pupils continue to perform well, with two-thirds of gaining five or more awards at Level 5.
“The report highlights another 20 areas where we are ranked within the top councils in Scotland, and this outlines the excellent work of our staff and the high-quality service we are providing to Renfrewshire’s residents.”
The annual report collates data across a range of services including education, housing and adult social care, considering service costs, their effectiveness and customer satisfaction.
The report presented to the Council’s Audit, Risk and Scrutiny Board showed that, of the 70 indicators that data is available nationally, 41 have improved since the previous year, with 10 remaining unchanged and 19 declining.
The report found that:
- More than 99% of council homes are energy efficient
- 4 in 5 adults are satisfied with local schools
- More than half of the highest paid 5% of employees are woman
- Renfrewshire ranks fifth for satisfaction with leisure facilities
- More than three-quarters of adults are happy with museums and galleries
- Ranked eighth national for the average time taken to complete non-emergency repairs
- The report also raises areas which Renfrewshire ranks lower when compared to other local authorities in Scotland.
Councillor Nicolson added: “While we are performing well, we recognise that there are areas that we need to improve on which is why we’ve invested accordingly to make a difference.
“Our 2019/20 budget invests £40million in our roads, building on the £7.2million investment last year, and this will make a tangible difference to the quality and durability of our roads, pathways and cycle routes – and means we expect to be ranked highly for the cost of roads maintenance.
“We have invested £2.5million in our successful Team Up to Clean Up campaign and the funding for the enhanced street cleaning programme, as well as the visible local support, will make a positive change to the cleanliness of our streets, immediately and in the long-term.
“We also continue to work closely with our staff to provide them with the support they need to carry out their role, including providing counselling services, occupational health support and a focus from the Corporate Management Team on improving the rate of absence within the organisation.”
The findings from the Local Government Benchmarking Framework Indicator Profile will be considered by councillors in a report to the Audit, Risk and Scrutiny Board on Monday 18 March 2019.