Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - 13:00

The Eden Project’s strong commitment to staff training was recognised with a clutch of honours on Friday night.

Eden won two of the top prizes at the Excellence in Business Training Awards, the South West of England’s premier awards for businesses to celebrate their success in training.

Learning and Development Specialist Jed Langdon, who leads the training of Eden’s group of apprentices, won Individual Champion of Staff Development.

The award is for an individual who champions training and development within their business showing commitment, drive and dedication to supporting their colleagues and their wider workforce.

Sam Lockyer of Midas, who judged the Individual to Champion to Staff Development, said: “What really came through in Jed’s submission was his enthusiasm about training and the welfare of the employees. His dedication to writing a bespoke apprenticeship programme, sometimes in his own time really shone through.

“The comments and reaction by employees and peers demonstrate that Jed has worked hard to embed the culture of training and continual development within the business, and Jed’s overall contribution to improving customer satisfaction clearly embraces the ethos of the business.”

As a company, the Eden Project won the Outstanding Commitment to Apprenticeships, Medium to Large Employers. The award was collected by Head of Human Resources Dawn George.

This award is for companies who have shown outstanding support and development of their apprentices and who can demonstrate that they have contributed to their success.

Mel Colton-Dyer, Cornwall Chamber of Commerce who judged the award, said: “Eden’s ethos of ‘growing your own’ while meeting their charitable aims and philosophy and supporting the local economy is a great example of apprenticeships being at the very heart of an organisation.”

Eden horticulture apprentice Jake Hawke was runner up in the Apprentice of The Year award as a recognition of his outstanding commitment and dedication to training.

And to complete the honours for Eden on the night, the project was runner-up in the Outstanding Commitment to Training large business category.

This award recognises companies that have shown outstanding dedication to training which has made a positive impact on their business success including staff retention and morale, sales and growth.

Gordon Seabright, Managing Director of the Eden Project, said: “The well-deserved individual awards to Jed and Jake and the recognition Eden received as a project absolutely committed to development and training made for a very memorable evening in the company of other great organisations who share our investment in their most valuable asset - people.”

Amarjit Basi, CEO of The Cornwall College Group, opened the evening and congratulated all nominees on their success. He said: “The standard of nominations this year was exceptional. The winners deserve particular praise for being recognised as the best in their category.

“It’s been a wonderful night of entertainment and celebrations and I’ve been humbled to be part of it. Congratulations to all the shortlisted companies and individuals and to our winners tonight.”

Eden’s biggest-ever apprenticeship scheme was launched in 2014. Apprentices learn an occupation through a combination of working at the project and taking part in off-the-job training and development.

The apprenticeship scheme is being run in partnership with The Cornwall College Group and its specialist Rural Environment arm Duchy College. The programme sees the paid apprentices working across a range of different teams including horticulture, vehicle maintenance, hospitality, the visitor experience, media and creative design.

The Excellence in Business Training Awards, hosted by Cornwall College Business and supported by Pirate FM, took place at The Atlantic Hotel, Newquay.

Now in their ninth year, the awards recognise businesses and individuals who demonstrate commitment and dedication to training across the South West. The finalists were chosen by a panel of judges made up of some of the region’s most experienced business professionals.