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Emma Rochester, pictured with the 2019 Jim Tait Prize for Aquaculture, is a finalist in the British Education Awards. Photo: NAFC.
Emma Rochester, pictured with the 2019 Jim Tait Prize for Aquaculture, is a finalist in the British Education Awards. Photo: NAFC.

A farm technician with Cooke Aquaculture Scotland has been named as a finalist in the British Education Awards (BEA), which identify and celebrate individuals who have excelled within the British education system.

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Emma Rochester was nominated by Stuart Fitzsimmons, section leader for aquaculture training at Shetland-based NAFC Marine Centre, after she completed a Modern Apprenticeship in Aquaculture at level 2.

“Throughout the programme she impressed us with the quality of her work and her professionalism in the workplace,” said Fitzsimmons.

Officer cadet

After sailing and working with Tall Ships, Rochester, who lives in Yell, first joined NAFC’s Merchant Navy officer cadet programme and trained as a deck officer.

She then switched to the aquaculture industry, joining Cooke in Yell. She enrolled on NAFC’s level 2 Modern Apprenticeship in Aquaculture and in 2019 was awarded the Jim Tait Prize for Aquaculture for the best student completing the course.

Rochester is currently enrolled on the Centre’s level 3 Modern Apprenticeship in Aquaculture.

Jimmy Dakin is one of two NAFC apprentices shortlisted for an ALBAS.
Jimmy Dakin is one of two NAFC apprentices shortlisted for an ALBAS.

Hard work and commitment

News of her success in reaching the finals of the BEAs follows that of two other NAFC aquaculture apprentices, Valentina Romano (Dawnfresh) and Jimmy Dakin (Scottish Sea Farms), being shortlisted for this year’s ALBAS (Awards for Land-based and Aquaculture Skills) run by Lantra Scotland.

NAFC principal, Willie Shannon, said: “Emma, Valentina and Jimmy are to be congratulated on being shortlisted for these prestigious national awards.

“These well-deserved nominations reflect the hard work and commitment that all three students have displayed throughout their training at the NAFC Marine Centre.

Quality of training

“It also highlights the quality of the training delivered at NAFC and the efforts of our aquaculture training staff in supporting these and all our other students during their training.”

The British Education Awards recognise the value and importance of education and learning as the foundation to a good quality of life and for the future success of the nation.

The BEAs will be presented at a formal dinner in Manchester on January 30.

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