A YOUNG Clacks stonemason is hoping to encourage others to take up a trade and cut out a slice of work for themselves.

Tullibody born and bred Liam Macaulay spoke to the Advertiser about his profession as he hopes to encourage young people into vocational jobs.

The 25-year-old, now living in Dunblane, has already been devoted to stonemasonry for seven years.

He "fell into" the trade, having missed out on a sports studies course all those years ago and deciding to go with a Forth Valley College apprenticeship during an open day.

He told the Advertiser: "When you've been doing something and you stand back and see the finished product knowing you've just done it yourself – it's a good feeling.

"I'd encourage everybody, people in any age bracket to get into it and just see what's involved in it because it's just great.

"For those who don't really want to university or college, definitely I'd highly recommend for them to find some sort of trade that will give them a valuable skill that they can use for the rest of their lives.

"Not just stonemasonry but trades in general – people can go out and make a very successful living out of it."

He added: "Not everyone gets into the university and college; that's why I fell into it.

"I wanted to do a sports course before but I didn't get into college to do that and that's why I ended up going to the open day.

"I am actually glad that I got a job like this rather than working in the sports industry because it's great, I'd highly encourage it for everyone."

Liam was recently pictured in his home town carrying out a drystone wall repair outside St Serf's Church Community Hall, something not many people would be able to do nowadays.

He said: "For the amount of work that's needing done throughout the whole UK, there's nowhere near enough of us stonemasons."

Indeed, Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust – working north of the Ochils – this summer said that there is an identified shortage of people with the skills needed to conserve the built environment.

This includes those who are highly skilled in the ancient craft of stonemasonry.

Susan Mills, of Clackmannanshire Heritage Trust, added: "We recognise there is such a skill shortage and its something that we would want to help to remedy in the future when we are able to with projects of ours."