The canal route for apprentices

LEEDS College of Building has joined forces with the Canal & River Trust to create apprenticeships for 22 young people.

The Canal & River Trust is the charity dedicated to the care and maintenance of 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales and the apprentices have been enrolled on either the carpentry and joinery or the brickwork courses at the college.

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They will be developing the necessary skills to help protect the historic fabric of 200-year-old locks, bridges and tunnels for future generations. Among other tasks the apprentices will be responsible for repairing and re-pointing historic brickwork using lime mortar and refitting oak lock gates, weighing several tonnes each, to ensure a watertight seal.

The frameworks, which last an average of two years, will teach the apprentices a range of craft skills in college, complemented with work-based evidence, functional skills in maths and English as well as employee rights and responsibilities.

Leeds College of Building, the only specialist further education construction college in the UK, has enrolled more than 300 apprentices to date this year.