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Who will make a splash at Learner of the Year awards?

Alan Tangy, left, of Scottish Sea Farms and Scott Forder of Marine Harvest are the finalists from the aquaculture industry.
Alan Tangy, left, of Scottish Sea Farms and Scott Forder of Marine Harvest are the finalists from the aquaculture industry.

Scotland’s Aquaculture Learner of the Year will be named at an awards ceremony in Dunblane tonight by Lantra, the skills council for the land-based, aquaculture and environmental sector.

Kevin Patrick:
Kevin Patrick: "All of our nominees should be extremely proud."

Twenty trainees have made the shortlist for a variety of awards in sectors ranging from aquaculture to horse care to trees and timber.

They include Scottish Sea Farms employee Alan Tangny, 30, from the Isle of Mull, and Marine Harvest employee Scott Forder, 26, from Kinlochewe. Both men are doing Modern Apprenticeships in Aquaculture through Inverness College UHI.

As well as competing for an award in their own sector, finalists have the chance to named the Overall Winner, and Modern Apprentice of the Year if they qualify.

The awards ceremony at the DoubleTree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro was originally due to take place on March 1 but was postponed because of heavy snow brought by the “Beast from the East” cold snap.

The main speaker at tonight’s ceremony will Dougie Vipond, presenter of sports and outdoors TV programmes, and founder member and drummer with Deacon Blue.

Judges for this year’s Lantra Learner of the Year awards include Lisa Connell, training and development manager with the Scottish Salmon Company, which has also provided the salmon to be used for the first course of the awards ceremony dinner.

Kevin Patrick, director of Lantra Scotland, said: “We are extremely grateful to the independent panel of judges, to the training providers and employers for all their hard work, and to all of our generous event sponsors. These awards continue to play an important role in communicating the value of gaining qualifications and developing skills, as well as highlighting the achievements of new entrants. All of our nominees, whether selected as finalists or not, should be extremely proud and we look forward to celebrating their success.”

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