A launch with a difference took place at The Falkirk Wheel marking the start of canal college.
Provost Pat Reid got on board with the project and the first participants in the trailblazing training programme for a sail on the ‘Campbell Christie’.
Designed by the Scottish Waterways Trust to help address youth unemployment in Falkirk, it will give young people aged 16-25, who are not currently in education, employment or training, the chance to gain practical work experience.
Working on heritage and environment skills on the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals, as well as at The Falkirk Wheel, they will pick up further skills.
The £468,000 project will run for the next two years and is being financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the European Union, Scottish National Heritage and Scottish Canals.
Preparing to wave off the young participants, Provost Pat Reid said: “Canal college is another great and welcome initiative from Scottish Waterways Trust and Scottish Canals.
“It links well with the current ‘green’ initiatives throughout the Falkirk area and will help teach our young people not just about the past and present of the canals, but also show them their potential role in helping preserve them for the future.”
Karen Moore, chief executive of Scottish Waterways Trust, said: “This is a momentous day as we launch our largest, most ambitious project to date.
“Each project will also make a real difference to the waterside environment, whether that’s bringing the social history and wildlife to life through new walking trails or creating new pathways, benches and planting.”