4/4/2018 3:19:35 PM News

Mull trainees excel at Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards 2018

Lantra Awards

The talents of the country’s top land-based and aquaculture trainees and Modern Apprentices were celebrated on Wednesday 28th March at Lantra Scotland’s 16th Learner of the Year Awards.

More than 200 guests, including finalists and their families, event supporters, employers, training providers and industry leaders, gathered at the DoubleTree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro to take part in Lantra’s largest awards’ ceremony yet.

Emma Staniforth, a previous overall learner of the year winner, spoke about her experiences as one of Lantra’s industry champions. The keynote speech was given by Dougie Vipond, TV presenter of sports and outdoors programmes and Deacon Blue founder member and drummer. Dougie then presented winners and runners-up awards for the agriculture, aquaculture, equine, horticulture, game and wildlife, land-based engineering, trees and timber, fisheries management and environmental conservation categories.

A Scottish Sea Farms’ employee has been named Aquaculture Learner of the Year at the LANTRA Scotland Awards 2018. Alan Tangny, who is based on the Isle of Mull and is undertaking a Modern Apprenticeship in Aquaculture through Inverness College UHI, was nominated for the exceptional commitment he has shown both to his on-site and SVQ work.

Making his achievement all the more remarkable, the 30-year old father of four came to salmon farming in his late twenties with no previous knowledge of the sector. Says Alan: “I left school at 16, went straight to university then left again after two weeks. It just wasn’t for me. So, I took a job as a waiter and worked my way up to chef, but once my children came along I was looking for something with more family-friendly hours.”

Alan applied for a vacancy with Scottish Sea Farms for a husbandry trainee and, on being offered the role, was enrolled on the Modern Apprenticeship. Three years on, he has not only successfully completed his Level 2 training, but he has recently been promoted to a senior husbandry position with the company.

Dr Ross, from Tarland in Aberdeenshire, was winner of the Higher Education Award. The 32-year-old a fellow at the University of Aberdeen and Stellenbosch University in South Africa has done ground-breaking research into bio-molluscicides and is in the process of completing an MBA through Robert Gordon University. 

The Higher Education award runner-up was 26-year-old Claire Simonetta, who achieved a BSc (Hons) 1st Class in Agriculture at SRUC. Claire runs a beef and sheep hill farm on the Isle of Mull with her partner. 

For a full list of the winner in each category follow this link to the Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards 2018, winners and runners>>