Young people are joining our teams to look after our waterways

We've welcomed 47 young people to our regional, construction and digital marketing teams as part of the government's Kickstart initiative.

Teenager in Alvechurch Teenager in Alvechurch

We've welcomed 47 young people to our regional, construction and digital marketing teams as part of the government's Kickstart initiative, funded by the Department for Work and Pensions.

In Burnley, Leicester, and Walsall, 23 young people have joined us and will gain six months of experience in waterway care and customer service, including canal and towpath maintenance and a range of ‘green’ environmental projects. Another 22 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. A further two participants have joined our social media and web content teams to promote the use of canals to waterside communities.

Inspiring a new generation

Danny Matley, our strategic programmes manager, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to gain valuable experience working on the waterways. Whilst many of the techniques remain similar to when the canals were built, modern methods have also come to play an important role. The participants will be learning both heritage skills and getting involved in topical projects, such as how to ‘green’ the waterways and how to promote them to a wider audience.

“We look forward to sharing our skills and will encourage the young people to share their ideas with us. We hope to inspire a new generation of waterways workers, who will have experienced the benefits of being by the water and caring for the canals first-hand.”

The Kickstart initiative is 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.