Two Shetland residents have made it to the finals of a prestigeous land-based and aquaculture learner of the year awards for the rural sector.
Liam Anderson from Yell, who works as an apprentice gardner for the council, and Martin Mladenov, from Lerwick, who9 works for Scottish Seafarms, are finalists for the 2016 Lantra awards which take place on 3rd March at the Dunblane Hydro Hotel.
Liam, aged 20, is undertaking a Modern Apprenticeship SVQ Level 3 in parks, gardens and open spaces with Shetland Island Council and SRUC Elmwood. He is currently working as an apprentice gardener for the council and has completed an SVQ Level 2 in Horticulture, where he was awarded a prize for best SVQ.
Liam runs a popular monthly blog on the Council’s website where he provides advice on gardening and what’s going on in the area. After completing his apprenticeship, he aims to become a permanent member of staff as a gardener and possibly head gardener one day.
29-year-old Martin has completed his Modern Apprenticeship SVQ Level 3 in aquaculture at Scottish Sea Farms (SSF) and NAFC Marine Centre. Martin is working at a husbandryman for SSF, which involves feeding and monitoring salmon, observing behaviour, taking weekly samples and making sure they remain healthy. His ambition is to become site manager one day.
Organised by Lantra Scotland, the sector skills council for the land-based, aquaculture and environmental industries, the Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards recognise and reward Scotland’s most talented trainees from across Scotland’s rural sector, as well as helping encourage employers to invest in skills for the future.
There are a total of 15 categories, including the prestigious CARAS Awards, Modern Apprentice of the Year, Urban and Rural Schools, Higher Education and School Pupil. There are also eight industry accolades covering agriculture, aquaculture, equine, horticulture, game and wildlife, trees and timber, land-based engineering, fisheries management and environmental conservation industries.
Director of Lantra Scotland Kevin Patrick said: “We are delighted to announce our finalists for the Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards 2016 and are extremely grateful to the independent panel of judges for all their hard work.
“These awards continue to play an important role in communicating and celebrating the value of gaining qualifications, developing skills and improving standards. We have also received nominations from more employers and training providers this year, which suggests they are increasingly aware how important it is to support and celebrate new talent.
“All of our nominees, whether selected as finalists or not, should be extremely proud of their work and I really look forward to celebrating their achievements in Dunblane on Thursday 3rd March”.