EAST Renfrewshire has a higher percentage of key workers helping people through the coronavirus pandemic than anywhere else in Scotland, new figures reveal.

A report by the Office of National Statistics shows a massive 45 per cent of those who are employed in the Barrhead area are classed as performing an ‘essential’ role.

These include doctors, nurses, paramedics, care home staff, those involved in the production and distribution of medicines and personal protective equipment (PPE), teachers, postal workers and those supporting the food chain.

Also classed as performing key roles are police officers, firefighters, bus and train drivers and council staff, such as those involved in bin collections.

The percentage of key workers in East Renfrewshire’s working population is 27 per cent above the Scottish average and 36 per cent above the average for the UK as a whole.

Barrhead’s MSP Tom Arthur has heaped praise on a wide range of workers who are putting other people first during the Covid-19 crisis.

“Whilst Scotland has been under lockdown, our key workers have continued to provide us with essential services,” said Mr Arthur, who represents Renfrewshire South.

“We cannot thank them enough and they deserve our gratitude at all times.

“My constituency has a huge number of key workers and it is our duty to keep them safe by staying home as much as possible and following the Scottish Government guidelines as restrictions begin to ease.

“Only by doing this can we suppress the virus and protect our NHS and those we rely on to look after us.”

South Ayrshire has the second highest percentage of key workers in Scotland at 39.5 per cent, followed by Dumfries and Galloway on 39 per cent.

The figure for Renfrewshire is 36 per cent.