by Ben Foster
The Eden Project is recruiting 20-25 new apprentices in its biggest programme of this kind so far.
Eden’s apprentices will learn an occupation through a combination of working at the project and taking part in off the job training and development delivered with Cornwall College.
The new apprenticeship scheme is being run in partnership with The Cornwall College Group and its specialist Rural Environment arm Duchy College. The programme will see the paid apprentices working across a range of different teams including horticulture, vehicle maintenance, hospitality, the visitor experience, media and creative design.
Eden has previously employed a number of apprentices but this will be the most recruited at a single time.
The apprenticeships are open to motivated people aged 16 and over with any level of qualification, who are looking for a structured opportunity to learn and earn at the same time.
People who are thinking of applying or would like to know more can come along to an open day at Eden on Saturday May 17 from 10am to 2pm. The event is free to attend and will be held in Eden’s Gallery.
There will be an opportunity to meet members of the Eden and College teams to find out more about the work and courses. We will also be joined by Steven Gilbert MP to help us launch this event.
Eden’s apprenticeships will be full time, for a period of up to two years. Apprentices will be paid and expected to work 40 hours a week, which will generally be four days a week at Eden and one day in off-the-job training either at the College or on the Eden site.
David Harland, Eden Project Joint Executive Director, said: “This is a great moment for Eden and Cornwall College as we create a raft of new jobs in a wide range of areas.
“The combination of work and training that an apprenticeship offers is a brilliant option for those who want to achieve a meaningful professional qualification while gaining vital experience in the workplace.”
Raoul Humphreys, Deputy CEO of The Cornwall College Group said: “As the most successful provider of apprenticeships in the region, The Cornwall College Group is looking forward to extending our work with the Eden Project with this new apprenticeship scheme.
“We are proud to be working with Eden and are delighted that this scheme offers real work opportunities and training for our local community, particularly our young people. We are looking forward to providing the apprentices with the essential training they will need to be successful in their jobs.”
Applications for the Eden Project apprenticeship scheme will be open from May 19 2014. Anyone who is interested in applying should go to www.edenproject.com/apprenticeships or call the Eden Project recruitment line on 01726 811967.
Riyah Snow, 21, is currently an apprentice in the Eden Project’s horticulture team, working four days a week at the project and one day at Duchy College’s Rosewarne campus. She started in September last year and is due to finish this September.
By the time she has completed her course she will have gained a year of experience working in one of the UK’s most high-profile gardens as well as a Work-Based Horticulture City & Guilds Diploma Level 2.
Riyah is from St. Agnes in Cornwall. After completing her GCSEs at Richard Lander School in Truro, she did a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design at Truro College. As a keen gardener, she decided to change direction and start studying with a view to a career in horticulture.
Riyah said: “My dad is a landscaper who was part of the original team who laid the groundwork for the Eden Project so it was always a place with which I’ve felt a connection. After attending an open day at Duchy College, I applied for the apprenticeship at Eden and was very happy to be accepted.
“I knew I wanted to work in horticulture but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to specialise in. The Eden apprenticeship has given me the opportunity to work across lots of different areas – from tree-felling with the outer estates team to planting spring flowers and looking after tropical plants in the Biomes.
“The apprenticeship scheme has worked out really well for me because it gives me vital job experience as well as a formal qualification.”
Once she has finished her apprenticeship, Riyah’s ambition is to continue her horticultural education, possibly with another work-based scheme. Following her work at Eden, she would like to continue working in public gardens.