Eden Project wins grant to promote careers in horticulture

The Eden Project in Cornwall has won a grant of almost £95,000 to develop a programme which encourages young people to consider careers in horticulture.

The Eden Project wants to encourage the next generation of horticulturists. Image: Hufton+Crow
The Eden Project wants to encourage the next generation of horticulturists. Image: Hufton+Crow

The grant, from education charity the Edge Foundation, will fund Eden’s Horticulture Advocates Programme (HAP) which promotes STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) careers in horticulture.

The HAP will train 14 year olds from five local secondary schools to become Horticulture Advocates. They will spend one day a month working with horticulture apprentices, HE students, employers and academics. In the second year, they will become mentors to the next cohort.

Head of Eden Project Learning, professor Robert Barratt, said: "One of the key aims of HAP is to improve the reputation of horticulture as a real and aspirational career option for young people.

"Plant life is fundamental to our existence on the planet and STEAM subjects are key to ensuring future sustainability. Students will see how science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics are relevant to roles in the industry from botany to greenhouse design or landscaping to data analysis."   

Edge chief executive, Alice Barnard, said: "This initiative is a resourceful approach to tackling the skills gap in the horticulture sector. It also offers great opportunities to students to see the relevance of learning to the world of work, gain an insight into the industry and be better able to make informed choices about their futures."

A survey of 200 horticultural businesses in 2013 found that 72% were unable to fill skilled vacancies


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