Cowes Enterprise College has been awarded the prestigious Maritime UK Award for Future Skills. This is in recognition of the academy’s work embedding maritime learning into the curriculum.
The academy, which is part of Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT), beat stiff competition from fellow finalists Orkney College Maritime Studies Department, University of the Highlands and Islands, and City College Plymouth to scoop the prize.
The award is given out to those that have made a tangible contribution to meeting the future skills needs of the sector. Winners must evidence pioneering activity across education, training or apprenticeship development, to help match available skills to the emerging requirement of the maritime sector.
Cowes Enterprise College has worked collaboratively with the maritime sector to create a curriculum which weaves maritime content through traditional curriculum subjects, as well as applying it to practical projects like boat building, sail design, and presentations on coastal management.
Meanwhile, local maritime experts such as divers, naval architects and maritime conservationists deliver specific lessons.
The academy is now developing the scheme in four additional coastal schools in Grimsby, Ipswich and Merseyside, with schools from Cornwall also interested. The initiative has the potential to get maritime into mainstream educational schools across the UK.
Rachel Kitley, Principal at Cowes Enterprise College said:
“It’s a huge honour for Cowes Enterprise College to have won this award – and testament to the hard work of staff, students, and countless partners and businesses across the Isle of Wight who have been pivotal in enabling us to deliver maritime learning across our curriculum.
“By investing in maritime industries, our coastal community is able to capitalise on its location, tapping into the diverse maritime sector. “We are so proud to be part of the drive to continue developing this vital sector, and particularly to be connecting our young people to the career options out there.
“It’s been incredible to see how engaged and inspired students have been in maritime learning, and I am so excited to see how our students take what they’ve learnt into their futures.”