Lantra Scotland announce finalists for ALBAS 2021

Last year's ALBA awards finalists
Hannah Downey

A select group of Scotland’s top trainees and rural learners have been named as finalists for Lantra Scotland’s 19th Awards for Land-based and Aquaculture Skills (the ALBAS). The winners will be announced at a special virtual ceremony taking place on Thursday 4th March 2021.

Lantra Scotland is the sector skills council for land-based, aquaculture and environmental conservation industries. The ALBAS celebrate the achievements of Scotland’s talented rural learners, and help to highlight the importance of investing in skills for employers.

Finalists come from a range of rural industries, including agriculture, animal care, aquaculture, environmental conservation, equine, horticulture, land-based engineering and trees and timber.

As well as prizes for Overall Winner, Runner-up and Modern Apprentice of the Year, there will also be an Anna Murray Award for Partnership Working, awards for Higher Education, School Pupil and Secondary Schools, CARAS (Council for Awards of Agricultural Societies), Jean’s Jam for inspirational tutor and the Tam Tod Trophy for outstanding young learner.

The finalists for ALBAS 2021 were chosen by an independent judging panel made up of influential figures from across the land-based and aquaculture sector, chaired by Keith Paterson of Forestry and Land Scotland.

The finalists for ALBAS 2021 are:

  • Alex Patterson, aged 21 from Blairgowrie, has been doing a Modern Apprenticeship SVQ Level 3 in Trees and Timber with Forestry and Land Scotland, through the Scottish School of Forestry;
  • Amy Lochhead, aged 18 from North Berwick, has been doing a Modern Apprenticeship Level 3 in Agriculture at Carcant Farm, through Borders College;
  • Callum Duggan, aged 25 from Kilmun in Argyll & Bute, has been doing an Modern Apprenticeship SVQ Level 7 in Aquaculture at Cooke Aquaculture, through NAFC Marine Centre;
  • David McMillan, aged 26 from Tomatin, has been doing a Modern Apprenticeship SCQF Level 6 in Trees and Timber at Forestry & Land Scotland, through the Scottish School of Forestry;
  • Falkirk High School;
  • Guy Tindall, aged 41 from Burra in Shetland, has been doing a Modern Apprenticeship SVQ Level 3 in Aquaculture at Greig Seafood Shetland, through NAFC Marine Centre;
  • Ian Armstrong, aged 22 from Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, has been doing a BA (Hons) in Rural Business Management at SRUC Craibstone;
  • Kimberly Gallacher, aged 21 from Greenock, has been doing an NC in Horse Care at SRUC Oatridge;
  • Lucy Philip, aged 22 from Bonnyrigg, has been doing an HND in Equine Studies at SRUC Oatridge;
  • Meldrum Academy, Aberdeenshire;
  • Martin Collie Stewart, aged 18 from Rosshall Academy in Glasgow, has been doing an NPA in Horticulture with Glasgow Clyde College;
  • Matthew Houston, aged 18 from Rosshall Academy in Glasgow, has been doing an NPA Skills for Work qualification at Glasgow Clyde College;
  • Maureen Brown, aged 33 from Galashiels, has been doing an SVQ Level 3 in Parks, Gardens and Green Spaces at James Gardening & Landscaping, through Borders College;
  • Morag Williams, aged 37 from Pathhead, Midlothian, has been doing an SVQ Level 5 and NPA Level 6 in Horse Care at Borders College;
  • Natalia Reifart-Bieganowska, aged 33 from Paisley, has been doing an SVQ Level 1 and NPA at SCQF Level 4 in Horticulture at Glasgow Clyde College;
  • Niall Provan, aged 21 from Tillicoultry, has been doing a Modern Apprenticeship in Rural Skills at the Callander Youth Project Trust, through SRUC Oatridge;
  • Reiss Gordon, aged 20 from Kirkcaldy, has been doing an SVQ Level 3 in Land-based Engineering at Netherton Tractors, through SRUC Oatridge;
  • Robbie Gray, aged 18 from Lanark, has been doing an SVQ Level 3 in Land-based Engineering at Ross of Lanark, through SRUC Oatridge; 
  • Shauna Murdie, aged 20 from Jedburgh, has been doing a Modern Apprenticeship Level 3 in Agriculture at South Riccalton Farm, through Borders College;
  • Susan Turner, aged 54, from Galashiels, has done an NC in Animal Care at Borders College.


Liz Barron-Majerik, Director of Lantra Scotland commented:

“I’m delighted to announce the finalists for our 2021 ALBAS. As well as showcasing the achievements of new entrants and career changers in our sector, they also promote qualifications and skills development across our sector. It’s important to remember that everyone who was nominated, whether they have become finalists or not, should be very proud of this recognition. Although this year’s ceremony will be online, we’re still planning on making it a virtual night to remember for all our finalists”.

“We are also very grateful to the independent panel of judges, to training providers and to the employers for contributions, and of course to all of our generous sponsors”.

Keith Paterson, chair of the independent judging panel, said:

“As judges for the ALBAS, we are extremely impressed with the high quality of the nominees this year. We all find it very rewarding to interview them and learn more about their inspirational stories. Getting to this stage in the ALBAS reflects the high value we place on our finalists as representatives of their industries. It’s exciting to see such a range of talent and enthusiasm coming through across Scotland, as it will strengthen our rural sector for the future.”

The ceremony will be broadcast on social media at 7pm on Thursday 4 March, and the finalists will be sent a link in advance. To find out more, call 01738 310164 or email Lantra’s work in Scotland is supported by the Scottish Government.