YOUNG people are gaining employment skills while improving the landscape along Huddersfield Narrow Canal.
Ten unemployed people are working up and down the waterway this summer as part of the Future Jobs Fund, a Government programme to help people into employment.
The workers, aged between 18 and 24, are painting locks, clearing litter and resurfacing parts of the towpath.
Yesterday the group were in action repairing a dry stone wall near Lock 29 near West Slaithwaite.
Graham Ramsden, regeneration manager for British Waterways North, is delighted with their work.
He said: “Not only will the tasks benefit us, it’s also satisfying to know that the waterway infrastructure improvements will aid people’s professional development.
“Our engineering and maintenance teams have limited resources so all the assistance we get to maintain the canal system is vital.”
The young people began work last month and will continue until November.
They are expected to contribute £90,000 worth of improvements to the canal between the town centre and Standedge Tunnel.
The young people are working with a supervisor from environmental charity Groundwork.
Development manager Emily Thompson said: “We’re delighted to be working with British Waterways as part of the Future Jobs Fund programme.
“These jobs are helping young people to gain confidence and improve their abilities.
“If you lack experience and skills it’s very difficult to get your foot in the door.
“With this support from the Future Jobs Fund, we’re able to invest in our young people and leave a legacy that creates places that are cleaner and greener and people who are confident and able to use their abilities for decades to come.”
The Future Jobs Fund aims to create around 150,000 jobs nationally in unemployment hotspots, with 100,000 of these jobs aimed at 18 to 24-year-olds.
The programme is open to people who have been unemployed for six months.
For more information about volunteering for British Waterways visit www.britishwaterways.co.uk/volunteer