Lantra Learner of the Year winners announced

Group photo of award finalists
Norette Ferns

Talented trainees were recognised at the recent Lantra Scotland's Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards ceremony.

These annual awards celebrate trainees, Modern Apprentices, students and pupils, teachers, tutors, training providers and schools involved in the rural sectors.

The prestigious Overall Winner Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Award went to Savio Genini, a talented Game and Wildlife Modern Apprentice from Kingussie. Savio was also joint winner of the Game and Wildlife Learner of the Year Award with fellow gamekeeping trainee, Kyle Stewart.

Savio is doing a National Certificate in Gamekeeping at the Pitmain Estate in Kingussie and North Highland College UHI. He was Modern Apprentice student of the year at College and is passionate about improving the public image of Gamekeeping. Savio is a keen shinty player, and as well as being a Scotland internationalist, was part of a Kingussie team which won the Camanachd Cup.

Savio said:

"I am delighted to win these fantastic awards, as they have made all the hard work worthwhile. I would personally like to thank Lantra Scotland, my employer at Pitmain Estate, my head keeper Graham, under keepers Torben and Lee and my tutors at North Highland College UHI who have supported and mentored me from the start. A Modern Apprenticeship is a fantastic way to gain on-the-job experience. The scheme has helped me achieve the qualifications and skills I need to succeed in my career."

This year’s glittering ceremony was attended by some of the sector’s leading figures and hosted by Jim McLaren, former NFU Scotland President and current Chairman of Quality Meat Scotland. One of the evening’s highlights was an inspiring keynote speech by Finulla McCloskey, winner of the Horticulture Learner of the Year award in 2012.

Finulla said:

"Winning a Lantra award is a real honour and has already had a positive impact on my career. It raised my profile within Glasgow City Council, leading to a great opportunity to work with the Landscape design team for a year which I thoroughly enjoyed. I am more confident in my own abilities now which has helped me continue to develop and better myself. I wish all this year’s winners the best of luck going forward. They are a talented bunch!"

Lantra Scotland is supported by the Scottish Government.

Visit the Lantra website for a full list of finalists and to find out more about the awards.