Four students from SRUC’s Oatridge Campus have reached the prestigious final of the Lantra Scotland Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards.
The West Lothian Campus of Scotland’s Rural College has also been shortlisted for the rural skills School Award in partnership with Cardinal Newman High School.
The fantastic four from Oatridge are Findlay Ross, Bankfoot, Perth shortlisted for Agriculture Learner of the Year, Jo Robertson, Edinburgh, shortlisted for Equine Learner of the Year, Kevin Sutherland, Elgin, shortlisted for Land-based Service Engineering Learner of the Year, and Scott Mason, Falkirk, short-listed Environmental Conservation Learner of the Year.
They join three students from SRUC’s Barony Campus near Dumfries who also go forward to the final taking place on the 28th February 2013 at Crieff Hydro. The winner of each category will be put forward for the grand prize of Overall Winner Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year.
Lantra is the Sector Skills Council for land-based and environmental industries, working to ensure these businesses access the training, qualifications, skills and knowledge they need. Announcing the short list Mary Mitchel, regional partnership manager said:
“The judging panel was very impressed with the standards of entry this year and selecting the winner was not easy. Everyone who entered has really worked hard to make a significant difference and raise the profile of the sector across Scotland.”
Student Finlay Ross’ fascination with the machines he watched in the fields around his home, in rural Perthshire, turned into a passion for farming. Jo Robertson blossomed at a work placement with a well known horse rider. Kevin Sutherland fell in love with land-based engineering after a gap year in Australia and Scott Mason discovered his vocation in the Stirlingshire countryside soon afterwards becoming the only apprentice countryside ranger in Scotland.
“We are extremely proud of our students and we wish them well for the final,” David James, SRUC Assistant Principal of Further Education, said. “Their background and circumstances are very different and inspiring. They are all a testament to the good practice and achievements in Land-based Further Education.”
The School Award is for a programme which offered pupils a series of practical lessons outside the classroom and opportunities to visit employers in the land-based industries. Through the project pupils developed transferable skills which will be of use throughout their lives.
The Awards, founded in 2003, celebrate the talent of those working in the land based sector. They aim to promote the exciting career opportunities on offer, encourage new people into the sector and demonstrate the benefits skilled staff can bring to businesses.
For more information about the candidates from Oatridge please contact Emilia Barrero on 01506 864 800 or Emilia.Barrero@sruc.ac.uk.