Double for Mull trainees shortlisted for Lantra Learner Awards
A select group of the country’s top trainees have been named as finalists for Lantra Scotland’s much-anticipated Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards. The 20 talented apprentices and trainees who have made the shortlist will find out if they have won at a prestigious gala dinner and award ceremony on Thursday 1st March at the Doubletree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro.
Lantra Scotland is the sector skills council for land-based, aquaculture and environmental conservation industries, and the awards play a vital role in promoting careers within the rural sector, celebrating the achievements of learners and highlighting the importance to employers of investing in skills.
MC and host for the evening will be stand-up comedian, Jim Smith. He will be joined by main speaker Dougie Vipond, TV presenter of sports and outdoors programmes and Deacon Blue founder member and drummer.
The awards include categories for the agriculture, aquaculture, equine, horticulture, game and wildlife, trees and timber, land-based engineering, fisheries management and environmental conservation industries, as well as Higher Education, Rural Schools, Modern Apprentice of the Year and CARAS (Council for Awards of Agricultural Societies) Awards.
Isle of Mull trainees Alan Tangny (above) and Claire Simonetta have made the shortlist, Alan, 30, is doing a modern apprenticeship in aquaculture through Inverness College UHI, while working for Scottish Sea Farms Ltd.
Alan actively promotes aquaculture at major rural events, including the Mull Highland Games. He has given numerous talks promoting the opportunities, products and economic benefits that the industry offers.
Swiss-born Claire left her job as a paralegal in Zurich after a visit to Scotland for a cattle conference. She recently completed a BSc (Hons) 1st class in agriculture at SRUC and is now working as a farmer and agricultural consultant. While at college she won the RHASS silver medal, a prize for being the best agriculture honours degree student at SRUC across all campuses.
The highlight of the evening will be the announcement of the Learner of the Year Overall Winner, for the talented trainee who has demonstrated exceptional ability, hard work and passion during their studies.
The finalists for the 2018 learner of the year awards were chosen by an independent judging panel made up of influential figures from across the land-based and aquaculture sector: Ray Jones, former Chairman of Scotland Food & Drink, agriculture and rural affairs journalist Erika Hay, Keith Paterson of Forestry Commission Scotland, farmer Keith Redpath, Lisa Connell of The Scottish Salmon Company and Rebecca Dawes of Jane Craigie Marketing.