Lantra Scotland, the sector skills council for the land-based, environmental and aquaculture sectors, is calling on all employers, instructors, tutors, trainers, teachers and mentors to put forward their nominations for the Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards 2015.
Now in their 12th year, the awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of young people and new entrants embarking on careers in the land-based, environmental and aquaculture sectors and are open to all vocational learners, students and Modern Apprentices working in the following sectors: agriculture, aquaculture, equine, fisheries management, environmental conservation, game and wildlife, horticulture, trees and timber and land-based engineering.
The awards also celebrate the achievements of secondary schools and their pupils as well as higher education students through the recently introduced Rural and Urban Secondary Schools Award, Land-based Curriculum for Schools Learner of the Year and the Higher Education Award.
Kevin Patrick, Interim Director of Lantra Scotland, comments on why nominating young learners is such an important step towards bridging skills gaps and building a vibrant, successful economy in Scotland:
“Last year we received a record number of nominations across all our sectors, and this year we are looking to attract even more. The Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards are the only vehicle we have as an industry to reward and celebrate the efforts of our learners and encourage more people to take an interest in land-based careers. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to put forward your nominees and give them the recognition they deserve. If you have a Modern Apprentice working for you, a student or someone in vocational training that you believe is an inspiration to others in terms of their commitment, skills and work ethic, then please put them forward for nomination.
“The land-based, environmental and aquaculture industries are key to providing the raw materials for a strong and vibrant Scottish economy, from the multi-billion pound food and drink sector to construction, land management and conservation.”
“These important industries cannot survive without well-trained, highly skilled people, but with a rapidly ageing workforce threatening the long-term viability of many sectors, this is becoming an increasing challenge. It is vitally important therefore that we work with employers to encourage more young people and career changers to consider a career in the land-based, environmental or aquaculture sectors, and nominating talented young learners for these awards is an important first step in this process.”
Andrew Roberts, who scooped the top prize of the Overall Winner Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Award 2014, talks about how winning the award has helped his career in the trees and timber sector:
“I am so proud and happy to be the overall winner of the Land-based Learner of the Year Award. I feel this it has already been a major in fast tracking my career in the trees and timber sector as well as giving me the recognition I need to succeed. The trees and timber sector in Scotland offers many exciting career opportunities to young people, and I am one of the fortunate ones to be embarking on a Modern Apprenticeship to hone my skills for the future. Wining an award is really the icing on the cake and being recognised for what I do really makes all the difference.”
Nominations for the Lantra Land-Based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards 2015 can be made until Friday 7th November 2014. After the nominees are shortlisted, the award finalists are announced in early 2015, followed by the winners at the 12th Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards in March 2015.