Trainee shortlisted for Lantra Scotland’s awards

John Macpherson from Portree on the Isle of Skye.

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John MacPherson, a 23-year-old aquaculture trainee from Portree on the Isle of Skye, has been shortlisted for Lantra Scotland’s much-anticipated ALBAS (Awards for Land-based and Aquaculture Skills).

John has been doing a modern apprenticeship in aquaculture with Grieg Seafood Shetland Ltd through Inverness College UHI.

He said: ‘I find myself learning something new every day, which is one of the things that makes working in this industry so rewarding. My modern apprenticeship in aquaculture gave me the knowledge and guidance to get me to where I am today, and the extra effort I put into the apprenticeship undoubtedly helped with my promotion.’

Lantra Scotland is the sector skills council for land-based aquaculture and environmental conservation industries, and the awards play a vital role in promoting careers within the rural sector, celebrating the achievements of learners and highlighting the importance to employers of investing in skills.

There are categories for the agriculture, aquaculture, equine, horticulture, game and wildlife, trees and timber, land-based engineering and environmental conservation industries, as well as higher education, rural schools, Modern Apprentice of the Year, CARAS (Council for Awards of Agricultural Societies) and a new Partnership Working Award.

The highlight of the evening will be the announcement of the Learner of the Year overall winner. This goes to an outstanding trainee who has demonstrated exceptional ability, hard work and a passion for their industry.

The finalists for the 2020 ALBAS were chosen by an independent judging panel chaired by agriculture and rural affairs journalist Erika Hay.

Liz Barron-Majerik, director of Lantra Scotland, said: ‘I’m delighted to announce the finalists for our 2020 Awards for Land-based and Aquaculture Skills.

‘As well as playing a key role in promoting the importance of gaining qualifications and developing skills, for trainees and employers, the ALBAS showcase the achievements of new entrants and career changers in our sector. All those nominated, whether finalists or not, should be extremely proud of this recognition, and we look forward to celebrating their success at our ceremony

‘We are very grateful to the independent panel of judges, to training providers and to the employers for contributions, and of course to all of our generous event sponsors.’

The awards take place at the Doubletree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro Hotel on Thursday March 5. Tickets are available from Lantra on 01738 310164 or See