The sought-after award goes to a Modern Apprentice or learner who has excelled during their training, demonstrating an aptitude for hard work, high levels of skill and a dedication to their chosen profession.
Now in its 13th year, Lantra’s Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of Scotland’s rural and urban learners, as well as encouraging employers to invest in training and skills development to ensure the industry is supplied with the very best talent.
Last year’s ceremony was the biggest in the event’s history, with over 220 industry representatives coming together to celebrate the successes of 29 talented winners and runners-up across 15 categories - the highest numbers since the awards began in 2003.
Lantra hopes to go one better next year and is asking the sector to make every effort to put forward nominees for 2016 and ensure the 13th award ceremony is one to remember.
As well as the aquaculture category, Lantra is welcoming submissions on behalf of Modern Apprentices, college students and vocational learners working in the agriculture, equine, fisheries management, environmental conservation, game and wildlife, horticulture, trees and timber and land-based engineering sectors.
It is also seeking nominations for Schools Learner of the Year, the Rural and Urban Secondary Schools Award and the Higher Education Award, which celebrate the achievements of secondary schools and their pupils as well as higher education students, ensuring learners of all ages are recognised and encouraged.
Kevin Patrick, Director of Lantra Scotland, believes that recognising learners through the prestigious awards represents a critical step on the road to building a vibrant and successful rural economy in Scotland:
“Scotland’s land-based, aquaculture and environmental conservation industries offer an incredibly diverse and rewarding range of career opportunities. Helping to promote those opportunities, and ultimately raising the quality of new entrants through effective learning and skills development, are key activities for Lantra.
“The awards celebrate the hard work and achievements of the country’s top learners, their employers and training providers. We are proud to support those achievements, and really would encourage all land-based and aquaculture employers and training providers to consider nominating their learners for an award.”
Talented young fisheries apprentice, Andrew Moore (pictured), current Aquaculture Learner of the Year, said: “Winning this award was fantastic and a great honor. My interest in aquaculture was sparked after landing a job at Nidderdale trout farm back in 2006. It was a land-based, raceway site, with multiple sites including a farm at Loch Etive. Whilst working at Nidderdale, I soon realised this was the career for me. I haven’t looked back since.”
Closing date for the nominations is Friday 20 November 2015. Finalists will be shortlisted in early in 2016, with the winners announced at the 13th Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards on Thursday 3 March 2016