BOSSES at a Renfrewshire college have welcomed a £230million Scottish Government funding package to stimulate the country’s economy following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Return to Work package was unveiled by ministers this week and features £51m for business support, £78m for construction, £66m to kick-start green recovery and £35.5m for digitisation.

West College Scotland (WCS), which has its main base in Paisley, said it is delighted to hear of the cash injection and is ready to play its part in breathing life into the economy again.

A spokesman added: “We welcome the announcement by the Scottish Government, which will benefit many sectors and provide much-needed support to help stimulate an economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We look forward to working with partners and businesses to support the economic recovery of our local and the national economy. As a college, we are well placed to support emerging skills needs and can quickly work with businesses and individuals to upskill and reskill the local workforce.”

Recent figures show Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Scotland fell by 2.5 per cent in the first quarter of the year, with provisional figures for April showing an 19 per cent decline.

Shona Struthers, chief executive of Colleges Scotland, said: “The college sector will have a vital role in driving economic recovery, as well as continuing to deliver on social inclusion, and significant additional investment for digitisation would have an extremely positive impact by reducing the risk of students suffering through digital exclusion.

“Colleges can quickly reskill, upskill and provide essential employability skills to people of all ages while providing critical aid for small and medium-sizes enterprises and priority skill sectors by driving a regional skills-led recovery.

"Additional investment from the Scottish Government would maximise the sector’s positive impact on the economic and social recovery from the pandemic.

“We look forward to working through the details of this announcement with Scottish Government and its agencies and collaborating with them and the wider tertiary sector to galvanise Scotland’s social and economic revival.”

Read all the latest from Renfrewshire and beyond


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