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Niall the very model of a modern apprentice

Niall ProvanNiall Provan is one of the SRUC students coming away with 11 awards from the ALBAS.

A rural skills apprentice at SRUC has won the coveted overall winner award at this year’s Awards for Land-based and Aquaculture Skills (ALBAS).

Niall Provan, a Modern Apprentice in Rural Skills at the Callander Youth Project Trust through SRUC’s Oatridge campus, also won the Tam Tod Trophy for outstanding young learner, the Environmental Conservation category and the Modern Apprentice of the Year award.

The six SRUC finalists came away with a total of 11 prizes from the event on 4 March, which is organised by Lantra Scotland.

In addition, the Growing Rural Talent project - involving SRUC – won the Anna Murray Award for Partnership Working.

Niall, 21, from Tillicoultry, said: "I’m still in a bit of shock having won four Lantra awards – I wasn’t expecting that kind of result at all, so I’m positively over the moon.

“I feel honoured to be a part of the ALBAS, and I hope this result helps to inspire young people to get more involved in their industry.”

Ian Armstrong, who is studying for a Rural Business Management degree at the Craibstone campus, and Lucy Philip, who is doing an HND in Equine Studies at Oatridge, picked up two of the three CARAS awards to recognise distinguished achievement in agriculture and related land-based industries.

Ian, 22, from Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, also won the Higher Education SCQF Level 10 category and 22-year-old Lucy, from Bonnyrigg, won the Higher Education SCQF Level 7-8 category.

Further wins came for Oatridge Horse Care student Kimberly Gallacher, 21, in the Equine category, and Robbie Gray, 18, an apprentice at Ross of Lanark and Oatridge, in the Land-based Engineering category. Reiss Gordon, 20, an apprentice at Netherton Tractors and Oatridge, was named runner-up.

David Hopkins, Dean of SRUC’s Central Faculty, said: “The past year has been the most challenging any of us remembers and the success of SRUC students in last night’s virtual awards ceremony is well deserved and a testament to the students and staff.

“I add my congratulations to all our finalists in 2021, several of who won more than one category, but special mention must go to Niall Provan, who left the ceremony with four awards, including as the overall winner.”

The winning Growing Rural Talent project - a partnership between SRUC, NFUS, D&G Employability & Skills, Borders College, Forest & Land Scotland, Confor, Lantra Scotland and Tarff Valley - offers a workplace-based award in agriculture and forestry for senior school pupils in the south of Scotland.

Graeme Ligertwood, Training and Work-based Learning Lead at SRUC, said: “This award recognises the efforts and success of all involved - it would not be successful without the support of those on the ground who believe it is the right approach - the schools, the employers and the young people themselves. Well done all.”

You can watch the event here.


Posted by SRUC on 05/03/2021

Tags: Oatridge, Study at SRUC
Categories: Student and Alumni