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Lantra announce finalists of the Horticulture Learner of the Year Award 2013

Gary Kilbride, Sean Smith and Douglas Dowling have all been short-listed for the Horticulture Learner of the Year Award 2013. The Horticulture Learner of the Year Award is one of seven industry awards being presented at Lantra Scotland’s prestigious Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards 2013, which celebrate the achievements of young people and new entrants within Scotland’s land-based and aquaculture industries. The awards are organised by Lantra, the Sector Skills Council for land-based, aquaculture and environmental industries, and will be attended by key figures from across industry and government including Angela Constance, Scottish Minister for Youth Employment.

For the first time in the awards 11 year history, the judging panel has put forward three nominees for the Horticulture Learner of the Year Award 2013, reflecting an increase in the quality of nominees from the sector.

Gary Kilbride, aged 19 from Castlemilk, Glasgow, is undertaking a Modern Apprenticeship SVQ Level 3 in Parks, Gardens & Greenspace with Glasgow City Council; Sean Smith aged 18 from Glasgow, is undertaking a Modern Apprenticeship SVQ Level 3 in Parks, Gardens & Greenspace, also with Glasgow City Council, whilst Douglas Dowling, aged 19 from Broxburn, West Lothian, is studying for a Modern Apprentice SVQ Level 3  in Parks Gardens & Green Spaces Level 3 with West Lothian Council and SRUC Oatridge College.

This year Lantra has received a record number of nominations across 13 award categories, the highest number since the awards were launched in 2003. 2014 will see the return of the highly successful CARAS Award, the Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Award and the Modern Apprentice of the Year Award. There are also seven industry awards covering all the key sectors, from agriculture, aquaculture and equine, to horticulture, game and wildlife, trees & timber, land-based engineering and three schools and education awards.

William Fergusson, Regional Director Lantra Scotland comments:
“We are delighted to announce our three finalists for this year’s Horticulture Learner of the Year Award which will be presented at the Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards on March 6th 2014. This year we received a record number of nominations from a growing pool of employers and training providers within the Scottish Horticulture sector. The fact we have chosen three finalists this year is testament to the quality of the nominees.  I think this is a clear reflection of rising standards within the training and education sector driven by increasing expectations from within the industry. We believe the high standards set by these awards, and the inspirational messages they communicate to young people, represents an important stepping stone to helping industry meet their skills demands.”

Ray Jones, Chairman Scotland Food & Drink and award judge comments:

“We live in a very competitive marketplace and our Agri and Aquaculture sectors are amongst the best in the world. Lantra Scotland candidates have well-honed skills and the right mind sets to succeed, winning a prize in the Land-based Learner of the Year Awards puts a person in the best of the best category.”

The Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards will take place between 7pm and 12pm at the Hilton Dunblane Hydro Hotel on the 6th March 2014. In addition to the industry and education award winners, the overall winner and runners up of the Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards 2013, as well as winners of the Land-based and Aquaculture Modern Apprentice of the Year Award 2013 and CARAS Award 2013 will be announced on the night. The winner of the School Pupil Award 2013, sponsored by Marine Harvest, and the Secondary School Award 2013 will also be announced at the awards on March 6th.

For further information about the awards please contact 01738 646 762 or e-mail us at [email protected]

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