Nominations open for top learner awards

Lantra 2019 winner Janis Brivkalns with awards host Jim Smith at the ceremony in March

NOMINATIONS are now open for Lantra Scotland’s 2020 Awards for Land Based and Aquaculture Skills – or ALBAS, as the awards have been renamed.

Rural employers, colleges and schools are being asked to put forward their top learners, and to help recognise and promote the industry’s best talent.

The awards provide trainees of all ages with a springboard to succeed in their respective careers, as well as highlighting the need for businesses to invest in new entrants, training and skills development, said Lantra.

Industry categories cover agriculture, animal care, aquaculture, equine, environmental conservation, fisheries management, game and wildlife, horticulture, land-based engineering and trees and timber.

In this year\’s awards, an apprentice with the Scottish Salmon Company scooped three big prizes. Janis Brivkalns from Dunoon was named as joint overall Learner of the Year, as well as winning the Aquaculture Learner of the Year and the Modern Apprentice of the Year accolades, at the awards ceremony in March.

All the 2020 ALBAS winners will be announced at a ceremony at the DoubleTree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro on March 5, 2020, hosted by farmer and stand-up comedian Jim Smith.

Liz Barron-Majerik, director of Lantra Scotland, said: ‘Although the ALBAS are rightly focused on learners and trainees, they also provide the perfect way for their training providers and employers to get the credit they deserve.

‘By recognising and celebrating the success and hard work of our new entrants, the awards highlight the support and achievements of everyone involved.

‘They help to promote the range of rewarding careers on offer in our sector, which I know will encourage more new entrants and ensure that our industries are supplied with the very best talent.

‘Many of our inspirational learners go on to do great things, and we’re very proud of the effect our awards can have on the self-confidence and careers of all our finalists and winners.’

The closing date for nominations is November 15. To enter, call Lantra on 01738 310164, email or visit


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