Aquaculture apprentice Janis Brivkalns from Dunoon and agriculture apprentice Amy Park from Hawick have been declared joint overall winners of Lantra Scotland’s 2019 Learner of the Year Awards, the first time the competition’s top honour has been shared.
Janis, who has been doing a Modern Apprenticeship in aquaculture with The Scottish Salmon Company through Inverness College UHI, also won the individual aquaculture award. Amy, who has been doing a Modern Apprenticeship in mixed farming on her family’s farm through Borders College, also won the agriculture industry category and was one of four winners of a Caras (Council for Awards of Agricultural Societies) award. Both champions drew praise from their nominating tutors.
“Janis thoroughly deserves to be rewarded for all his hard work,” said Martin Sampson from Inverness College UHI.
“Embarking on a new career path in a different country isn’t easy, but he moved rapidly through the course, developing and adapting his knowledge and skills to help his team to produce an exceptional crop of fish.”
Amy’s nominator, Andrew Johnson, from Borders College, said: “Amy is a very driven young woman who is not afraid of hard work. She has shown everyone what tremendous potential she brings to the agriculture industry.”
Other winners and runners-up included:
• Caras awards; Erica Taylor, Kellas by Dundee; Harry Hamlin-Wright, Perth; and Isla Campbell, Strathpeffer.
• Higher Education Award: winner, Andrew Richardson, Isle of Skye; runner-up, Isla Campbell.
• Secondary Schools Award: winner, Lockerbie Academy; runners-up, Nairn Academy.
• Jean’s Jam Award for most inspiring trainer: Morag Higgins from Ross Dhu Equestrian, Lanarkshire.
• Animal Care: winner, Lauren Attwood, Auchterarder.
• Aquaculture: runner-up, Billy Welsh, Stromness.
• Game and Wildlife: winner, Cameron MacLean, Islay; runner-up, Andy Oldham, Aberfeldy.
• Land-based Engineering: winner, Don Martin, Blairgowrie.
• Equine: runner-up, Lauryn Penman, Fife.
• Trees and Timber: winner, Kyle Baker, Glenrothes; runner-up, Jack Burton, Fife.
Liz Barron-Majerik, director of Lantra Scotland, said: “These awards are key to recognising and celebrating the achievements of trainees within Scotland’s rural sector, as well as encouraging employers to invest in the next generation of talent.”