After winning the contract to supply and fit tyres to all Scottish Borders Council (SBC) vehicles, a Duns firm has hired two apprentices, helping to meet a ‘Community Benefit’ clause in the contract.
Community benefits are designed to add value to contracts, delivering wider economic, social and environmental benefits to communities. Duns-based Redpath Tyres was the successful bidder and was awarded the contract.
Keen to support young people, managing director Graham Redpath discussed with SBC the potential to recruit a modern apprentice at the firm’s Kelso depot. And, following help from SBC’s Employment Support Service and Skills Development Scotland, a local young person was given a short period of work experience before moving on to a 12-week Skills Development Scotland programme. He was subsequently recruited as an apprentice tyre technician.
Due to the success of this first apprenticeship, and the stability of the contract with SBC, Redpath Tyres has since recruited a second young person, Blair Robertson.
Graham said: “The strength of our company and its growth has its foundations in the home grown talent and particularly the opportunities presented by training young staff to develop their skills and become part of the Redpath’s team.
“Employing over 70 staff, the company has grown into one of Scotland’s largest independent tyre companies. However none of this would have been possible without the help and support of local authorities such as SBC.
“I feel it is a fundamental part of any local authority’s contract award that long term sustainability of employment and in particular youth apprenticeships are taken into consideration. With SBC being firmly focused on this the future of youth employment in the Borders is assured.”
In connection with the firm’s contract with the Council they were shortlisted for two Scotland Excel Supplier Excellence Awards and were invited to attend the awards ceremony in Glasgow earlier this month.
Councillor John Mitchell, SBC’s Depute Leader (with responsibility for Finance), said: “This is an excellent example of how the Council can add value to communities when procuring goods, services or works and the partnership between the Employment Support Service and Redpath Tyres has been a really positive experience for the Council and for the young people who were looking for work.
“Community Benefit clauses are considered by the Council in every appropriate procurement exercise in an effort to ensure contracts have an additional positive impact on our local community, and I hope that among these benefits will be many more opportunities for young people within local companies like this.”