Scottish Canals start canal college

Published: Monday, 05 June 2017

SCOTLAND'S newest college is aiming to get more than 360 unemployed young people into employment through a new heritage conservation qualification.

The scheme is aimed at getting unemployed 16 to 30 year olds into work, by offering almost exclusively outdoor, 'hands on' learning along the Forth & Clyde, Union and Caledonian canals, the students working towards a new SQA Level 2 Certificate in Cultural Heritage during the 14 weeks course.

Heritage and conservation skills

The courses will be run from the canals in Falkirk, West Dunbartonshire and Inverness with course activities centred on developing traditional heritage and conservation skills.

Scottish Waterways Trust Chief Executive, Karen Moore, explained:

"Following on from the success of our pilot [scheme] we are delighted to be launching canal college as a national programme.

"Young people with more than one barrier to employment is a key group identified in the Scottish Government’s ‘Developing the Young Workforce—Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy’ and canal college specifically addresses the needs of this demographic.

"This pioneering programme will ensure that young people coming through the course will have the improved core life skills and the confidence that will enable them to move into a positive employment or educational outcome. Results from our pilot show that 70% of young people who completed the course achieve this and I’m confident we can replicate this success as the national programme rolls out."

Saltire Award

As well as the new SQA in Cultural Heritage participants will also work towards a Saltire Award, John Muir Award, Heritage Heroes Award and SQA Level 5 Unit in Working Safely.