canal college® inspires Ian to delve into the past for a new career

An outdoors project designed to get young people into work has inspired one successful trainee to pursue a career in archaeology.

Ian McGregor (17) from Dumbarton recently completed a canal college course run by Scottish Waterways to help boost employment opportunities for young people aged 16-30 in the West Dunbartonshire and Glasgow areas.

‘I was looking for something to help focus my mind on building a career when canal college was suggested to me,’ said Ian.

canal college is a 14-week programme of learning and skills development based along the Forth and Clyde Canal. Developing traditional heritage and conservation skills it offers recognised SQAs and other conservation certificates to help give young people a helping hand into the world of work.

‘Archaeology was completely new to me, but I quickly found I was a big fan. As the weeks went by I took part in many other activities such as stone carving and building bat boxes. The course gave me a great opportunity to meet new people and develop my social and communication skills and how to work as part of a team effectively,’ said Ian

He is now currently applying for a college archaeology course.

‘Canal college aims to make life better for young people who need support, whether it’s helping them rebuild their confidence or gain new life or practical skills to help them progress into full time work or training. I’m delighted that we have inspired Ian to move on with his career,’ said Scottish Waterways Trust Youth Outreach Officer, Lesley Scullion.

The next canal college programme begins in May in West Dunbartonshire, Falkirk and Inverness – to find out more call 01324 677809 or email

canal college® is supported by Scottish Canals and Mackenzie Construction and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Avondale Environmental through the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund, The Robertson Trust and the European Social Fund up until 2020. In the Highlands, canal college is delivered in partnership with Barnardo’s Works.

Craig Cowbrough
Cowbrough Communications Ltd