Lantra is urging employers and training providers to nominate employees or students who have shown outstanding commitment to training through their hard work and determination.
Lantra's National Director for Scotland, Willie Fergusson comments: "The Land-based Learner of the Year Awards is a wonderful opportunity to show new entrants the rewarding and diverse careers the sector offers, and encourages people of all ages to consider a career in the sector. The land-based industries offer new entrants excellent quality of learning to develop their skills, comparable with other sectors. The awards demonstrate how employers can benefit from the high levels of skills within the workforce that lead to increased productivity and profitability to create a sustainable business in this challenging financial climate."
This year, entrants from schools, those in higher education and vocational courses are invited to compete for 13 titles. Previous winner, Paul Carella from Bellshill, assistant greenkeeper at Bothwell Castle Golf Club, secured the Land-based Learner of the Year award after showing his enthusiasm and initiative in meeting challenges in the horticulture, landscaping and sports turf industry.
Iain Forbes, Gosta Training who nominated the winner said: "Paul works hard, his standards are high, he is helpful and is a good team player". Paul Carella attributes his success to learning as much as possible about Greenkeeping, he comments: "I feel this made me a good candidate for the Land-based Learner of the Year Award".
The prize categories for the 2009 awards include 'Overall Winner Scottish Land-based Learner of the Year', 'Higher Education Learner of the Year', 'Environmental and Land-based Modern Apprentice of the Year', as well as the 'Skills for Work or Scottish/National Progression Award'. There are also eight individual sector awards: Agriculture, Trees and Timber, Aquaculture, Environmental Conservation, Fisheries Management, Game and Wildlife, Equine, and Horticulture.
Fergusson continued: "The awards are a fantastic way to recognise the contribution from all of the learners in the industry, and how the sector can benefit from a skilled workforce. Each year Lantra and its panels of judges are very impressed with the quality of hard work and enterprise demonstrated by the nominees. Once again Lantra is looking forward to discovering Scotland's talent who will become valuable members of the future workforce."
Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in March 2010. The closing date for nominations is Friday 16 November 2009. Contact Lantra now for more information on 01738 553311 or view the website at www.lantra.co.uk/scotland where nomination forms are available to complete online.