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The charity making life better by water

Funding secured to create waterway roles for young people

We have secured government support to create dozens of opportunities in heritage repair and construction, and waterways management, for young people, funded by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Young volunteers arriving to work on an outdoor art project in Leeds

The six-month positions are being offered as part of the Kickstart initiative, a programme for young people aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit and are at risk of long-term unemployment. The programme will support young people to build up their experience and help them move into sustained employment after they have completed their Kickstart-funded role.

We will offer a total of 69 placements, at an estimated value of c.£500,000. In Burnley, Leicester and Walsall, up to 36 young people will gain experience in waterway management and customer service, including canal and towpath care and a range of green environmental projects.

Another 31 positions are based within our construction teams, where participants will learn heritage skills ranging from masonry, bricklaying and carpentry, to canal bank protection and towpath resurfacing. These roles are now live. Two further roles are being created in our digital marketing team and will be advertised shortly.

Local opportunities for young people

Steve Higham, head of partner & outcomes development at Canal & River Trust, said: “We are delighted to have secured Kickstart funding to offer 69 roles across the waterways to help young people to develop the skills, and gain the experience, that will help them secure long term employment. Our waterways run through some of the most deprived areas in the country and it's particularly important that we can offer local opportunities to young people in these communities. Working with our experienced teams, participants will learn a range of skills to equip them for work in conservation, heritage and the environment as well as on the waterways themselves.”

Last Edited: 11 January 2024

photo of a location on the canals
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