New curriculum centred around Eden Project North in Morecambe will help Bay youngsters make step into workforce
The importance of the proposed Eden Project North to educational opportunities was the subject of a community conversation today, Friday.
David Harland, chief executive of Eden Project International, held an online discussion surrounding the issue of how Morecambe's Eden initiative will benefit education, and educational opportunities within the region.
The public forum was one of a series of community conversations being organised by Eden, following on from a discussion with the business community last month.Eden Project chief executive David Harland told the 100-plus gathered participants that the project's design work was on schedule and that the team had been working on its financial business case ahead of submitting a planning application to the city council.
And he pointed to the importance of working with educational institutions around the region to generate enthusiasm for the future success of the project.
Wes Johnson, principal and chief executive of Lancaster & Morecambe College, said: "When news of Eden broke in 2018 it very much resonated with us. We realised immediately a huge overlap with the values of the Eden Project and the college."
The introduction of a Morecambe Bay curriculum, due to be launched in September, will provide huge opportunities to capitalise on shared priorities, he said.
The unique curriculum, part of a 25-year agreement signed with Eden, will incorporate learning ages from early years up to university level, and will include children and young people across the whole of the bay area, preparing many of them for work within the Eden Project family or an associated career.
"As a college we are committed to not leaving anyone behind," Mr Johnson said. "We want this to make a difference in all parts of our community, that's really important for us."
"This is a long-term project, a generational project, to make the difference that we wanted to make," he said.
Prof Robert Barratt, Eden Project North chair of education and engagement at Lancaster University, said the curriculum was about "changing life opportunities" for the people of the Morecambe Bay area.
"The idea is that at the end of it, people will find themselves with jobs at the Eden venues or the Eden supply chain or potentially in the wider network," he said.
"The curriculum has been constructed by the community, for the community, and with the community.
"We are describing it as a 'Bay lifestyle'".
Ahead of the curriculum's launch this autumn, an 'Eden bear' has been visiting schools to listen to youngsters about their dreams and aspirations, to ensure their views help inform and shape the curriculum.
The Eden Project North is due to open in Morecambe in 2024, and could provide up to 400 local jobs.
"There's a real enthusiasm to be a part of this," Mr Johnson added. "We want young people to be graduating with the skills needed for the Eden Project."