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    Scotland’s land-based and aquaculture industries are searching for top learners

    Lantra Scotland, the sector skills council for the land-based, aquaculture and environmental conservation industries, has opened up nominations for its 2017 Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards. Now in their 14th year, the awards celebrate the hard work and achievements of the countries most talented and successful Modern Apprentices, trainees, school pupils, as well as mentors and secondary schools.

    Available for the agriculture, aquaculture, equine, fisheries management, environmental conservation, game and wildlife, horticulture, trees and timber and land-based engineering industries, the awards are open for nominations until Friday 11th November. Finalists will be shortlisted in early in 2017, with the winners announced at a prestigious ceremony at the DoubleTree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro in March next year.

    These long-standing awards play a vital role in recognising the efforts of people throughout their careers, as well as those who offer support along the way. They also help encourage employers to invest in skills for the future, which is essential for a vibrant and sustainable rural economy.

    The 2016 awards, hosted by Jim McLaren, Chairman of Quality Meat Scotland, celebrated the impressive achievements of 24 talented winners and runners-up. Overall Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Winner was former U-17 Scotland Shinty player and gamekeeping apprentice, Savio Genini.

    Savio said:

    “It was an amazing honour to win this fantastic award, as it has made all the hard work worthwhile. Not only do I have more confidence and self-belief in my abilities, I have also gained the recognition I need to progress within the gamekeeping industry. I think employers can see the benefits of having better trained members of staff too, so it’s definitely worth putting a nomination form in. The benefits of winning a Lantra learner of the year award can last you a lifetime.”

    Nominations for the 2017 awards can come from industries across the land-based, environmental and aquaculture sectors, as well as Higher Education, School Pupil and Rural and Urban secondary schools. Prestigious awards for CARAS (Council for Awards of Agricultural Societies), Jean’s Jam for the most inspiring mentor, Modern Apprentice of the Year and Overall Winner and Runner-up for Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year, are chosen by the judging panel and announced on the night.

    Kevin Patrick, Director of Lantra Scotland, believes that these awards can be of wider benefit to Scotland’s rural economy:

    “Scotland’s land-based, aquaculture and environmental conservation industries offer an incredibly diverse and rewarding range of career opportunities and our awards celebrate the hard work and achievements of everyone involved.

    “By recognising the country’s top learners, their employers and training providers, we can highlight the important contribution they make to Scotland’s economy, particularly in rural areas.

    “We are proud to support those achievements, and would be delighted to see as many land-based and aquaculture employers and training providers as possible nominating their learners for our awards, then joining us to celebrate their success.”

    Lantra Scotland relies on support from across the sector to help fund the awards and has a number of support opportunities available at different levels. If you would like to find out more about ways in which your company or organisation can get involved in Lantra’s prestigious learner of the year awards, call 01738 310164, email scotland@lantra.co.uk or visit www.lantra.co.uk/scotland/land-based-and-aquaculture-learner-year 

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