‘By involving young people in projects on the canal, this area has a brighter future’

By Ellen Thomson at

Glasgow’s young people will have a boatload of new opportunities thanks to the city’s canal.

Scottish Canals and Glasgow Kelvin College have come together to give students a clear route to new jobs.

The area around Speirs Wharf and Pinkston Basin have been transformed in recent years.

Canal and waterways

Pictured: Left to right, Shannon McCann, Edwin Gollie, Steve Dunlop (CEO of Scottish Canals), Kirsty MacDonald, Allan Sherry (Principal of Glasgow Kelvin College) & Suiluj Supe

Further investment in homes and canal infrastructure are planned in the Firhill area.

And the Forth and Clyde Canal in Maryhill is regularly used for major events.

The Red Bull Neptune Steps open water swimming event will return to the canal locks next March.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the college and Scottish Canals was signed on board the Forth & Clyde Canal Society’s Voyager barge this week.


The move is of special importance in North East Glasgow, where 27 per cent of residents – more than double the national average – have no qualifications.

Steve Dunlop, chief executive of Scottish Canals, said: “The Glasgow Canal has undergone an incredible transformation in recent years and has attracted major investment from the public, private and third sectors.

“With new housing, innovative energy projects, and internationally-renowned events coming to the canal in the years to come, it’s an incredibly exciting time.

“By getting local young people involved in these projects on their doorsteps, we can continue to create a brighter future for the area, its students, and the canal at its heart.”

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, National Theatre of Scotland, and Scottish Opera are among the organisations who have made the canal their home in recent years.

It’s hoped the new partnership with Glasgow Kelvin College will improve links between the students and the organisations and facilities of the area.


Alan Sherry, principal of Glasgow Kelvin College, said: “This partnership is a fabulous opportunity for our students and for the communities we serve as a College.

“When business and industry are integrated throughout the learning experience, our students gain a much more relevant education and they are more attuned to the needs of employers.

“They have a better chance of securing great careers when they leave us and industry benefits from work-ready, enthusiastic new employees.

“Industry needs people who understand the demands and the rapidly changing environment in any sector.

“We will be working with Scottish Canals, and their partners, across a wide range of projects.

“Economic prosperity for the long term benefit of the communities is our aim and we believe education sits at the heart of that.”