The Eden Project
The Eden Project is an Educational Charity based in a disused China Clay pit near St Austell. Since opening they have welcomed over 18 million visitors to their site, relying on a team of over 450 employees and 150 volunteers.
What were the businesses issues/challenges to undertake training?
Eden made the decision to invest in apprenticeships because they believe it’s their duty to support young people in Cornwall and give them opportunities to develop into their chosen careers. As an educational charity, developing apprentices allows them to meet their charitable aims, whilst also supporting the local economy through developing talent. It also makes business sense for Eden to be investing in succession planning through apprenticeships, by developing people into areas they struggle to recruit. Such as Chef and Horticulture, Eden often find it difficult to recruit people with the requisite level of knowledge, skills and experience to fill vacancies and as such made the decision that they would start to ‘grow their own’.
The training undertook:
The Eden Project currently employs 30 apprentices in 10 different teams; Horticulture, Chefs, Hospitality, Retail, Narrators, Graphics, Finance, Facilities, Events and Marketing. All of their apprentices are on two year contracts, with an intake of 15 apprentices per year.
Eden’s mission is to develop enterprising and employable young people who are motivated to leave the world better than they found it. To do this they have created add-ons beyond their main learning frameworks such as a Sustainable Enterprise programme, a ‘Plough-to-Plate’ project, individual skills workshops and a mentoring scheme. Eden have partnered with many local employers to give their apprentices additional support and opportunity’s including trips to River Cottage, Newlyn Fish market, Nathan Outlaw’s restaurant and workshops in Coppicing and Bee-keeping. All of these things take significant organisational commitment to deliver, but they feel that they are vital in developing apprentices who will go on to achieve extraordinary things.
What impacts and benefits has the training had on the company?
Apprenticeships have brought Eden many benefits and have become highly valued across the business. A significant sign of this is that over the last two intakes teams who previously didn't want to recruit apprentices have seen the impact they have had on the rest of the business and have requested to recruit their own. One of the most notable benefits of apprenticeships to Eden, has been the positive impact on succession planning. They currently employ six skilled Horticulturists from their previous horticultural apprenticeship programme and already employ five of the apprentices who have just graduated from their expanded programme. This is a really important benefit for Eden as they have struggled in the past to recruit people with the right knowledge and skills into the teams these apprentices work in.
"Apprenticeships are a hugely important part of what we do. We are an educational charity and take very seriously our role in bringing along the next generation of young people. Eden apprentices are the leaders of tomorrow and there are no limits to what they can achieve." Gordon Seabright, Managing Director of The Eden Project
We have over 100 apprenticeships available.