Funding received to create waterway roles for young people

Published: Friday, 11 December 2020

THE Canal & River Trust has has secured government funding of £500,000  to create opportunities for young people.

This money provided by the Department for Work and Pensions will give young people the opportunity to get involved in the Trust's heritage repair and construction together with waterways management.

Part of Kickstart initiative

These are six months positions and are being offered as part of the Kickstart initiative, a programme for young people aged 16 to 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.

The Trust will offer a total of 36 placements in Leicester and Walsall gaining experience in waterway management and customer service, including canal and towpath care and a range of ‘green’ environmental projects.

Another 31 positions are based with the Trust’s construction teams, where participants will learn heritage skills ranging from masonry, bricklaying and carpentry, to canal bank protection and towpath resurfacing.  Two further roles are being created in the charity’s digital marketing team.

Help young people develop skills

Steve Higham, Head of Partner and Outcomes Development at Canal & River Trust, explained:

“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.”

Placements start in February

The Kickstart opportunities will be advertised before Christmas with a view to placements beginning from February 2021. They will be advertised on and the Trust’s website, and will be shared with the Trust’s community and skills partners.