Four horticulture trainees have been shortlisted for Lantra Scotland’s Awards for Land-based and Aquaculture Skills (the ALBAS). The winners will be announced at a virtual ceremony taking place on Thursday 4 March 2021.
The horticulture trainees that have reached the final are Maureen Brown, Martin Collie Stewart, Matthew Houston and Natalia Reifart-Bieganowska. Maureen Brown, aged 33 from Galashiels, has been doing an SVQ Level 3 in Parks, Gardens and Green Spaces at James Gardening & Landscaping, through Borders College. Martin Collie Stewart, aged 18 from Rosshall Academy in Glasgow, has been doing an NPA in Horticulture at Glasgow Clyde College. Matthew Houston, aged 18 from Rosshall Academy in Glasgow, has been doing an NPA Skills for Work qualification in Horticulture at Glasgow Clyde College. Natalia Reifart-Bieganowska, aged 33 from Paisley, has been doing an SVQ Level 1 and NPA at SCQF Level 4 in Horticulture at Glasgow Clyde College.
Lantra Scotland is the sector skills council for land-based, aquaculture and environmental conservation industries. The ALBAS celebrate the achievements of Scotland’s talented rural learners, and help to highlight the importance of investing in skills for employers.
Finalists come from a range of rural industries, including agriculture, animal care, aquaculture, environmental conservation, equine, horticulture, land-based engineering and trees and timber.
As well as prizes for Overall Winner, Runner-up and Modern Apprentice of the Year, there will also be an Anna Murray Award for Partnership Working, awards for Higher Education, School Pupil and Secondary Schools, CARAS (Council for Awards of Agricultural Societies), Jean’s Jam for inspirational tutor and the Tam Tod Trophy for outstanding young learner.
The finalists for ALBAS 2021 were chosen by an independent judging panel made up of influential figures from across the land-based and aquaculture sector, chaired by Keith Paterson of Forestry and Land Scotland.
Liz Barron-Majerik, director of Lantra Scotland commented: “I’m delighted to announce the finalists for our 2021 ALBAS. As well as showcasing the achievements of new entrants and career changers in our sector, they also promote qualifications and skills development across our sector. It’s important to remember that everyone who was nominated, whether they have become finalists or not, should be very proud of this recognition. Although this year’s ceremony will be online, we’re still planning on making it a virtual night to remember for all our finalists.”
“We are also very grateful to the independent panel of judges, training providers and employers for their contributions, and of course to all of our generous sponsors.”