Friday, March 13, 2015 - 15:00
Education minister Nicky Morgan learned all about a whole variety of apprentices at the Eden Project today. 
The minister was visiting as part of National Apprenticeship Week and met apprentices working in horticulture, catering, vehicle maintenance, HR, graphic design and media relations.
Nicky Morgan said: “It’s a fantastic partnership between Eden and Cornwall College and it has been really inspirational to come here today to see this brilliant scheme and meet the young people across a whole range of occupations who are benefiting from it.
“Just from meeting them and asking them about their roles I can see their passion flooding through, from the gardeners to the caterers to the HR and media apprentices they are learning skills in a great place delivered by a partnership which is a really good example of how to make apprentice programmes successful.”
In partnership with Cornwall College the Eden Project launched its biggest ever apprenticeship scheme last September and there were more than 20 apprentices in the first group.
David Harland, Eden’s Executive Director, said: “It was very encouraging to meet the Minister and let her know about our partnership with Cornwall College Group to create this unique learning experience for apprentices and talk about our other exciting plans for education at Eden.
”Easily the best part of the visit was seeing our apprentices engage so well with Nicky Morgan in order that she could see for herself their enthusiasm for their jobs and Eden. Great that it all happened in the Rainforest Biome – is there a better classroom anywhere?”  
Raoul Humphreys, Deputy CEO of The Cornwall College Group, said: “Recent government figures have shown that The Cornwall College Group is the biggest provider of apprenticeships in the South West region; something we are incredibly proud of. This clearly demonstrates our commitment to securing long term employment for our learners and delivering on our promise of making learning work.
“Collaborating with the Eden Project has enabled us to establish a unique opportunity for these apprentices to develop their skills and experiences in one of the most inspirational locations in Cornwall.”
The apprentices are learning an occupation through a combination of working at the project and taking part in off-the-job training and development delivered with the College. Eden’s apprenticeships are full-time, for a period of up to two years.
The apprenticeship scheme is part of a formal education programme that has been funded by a grant from the Edge Innovation and Development Fund.
The grant fund was established in the year of the tenth anniversary of the Edge Foundation, an independent education charity, to support innovation in technical, practical and vocational education.