Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing meeting industry champion speakers

A new initiative from Lantra Scotland which aims to inspire the next generation of learners and new entrants to Scotland’s land-based and aquaculture industries was launched at this year’s Royal Highland Show by the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing MSP.

The industry champions initiative will see former finalists from Lantra Scotland’s Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards become members of this exclusive group, with the aim of introducing more people to career opportunities and qualifications offered by their respective industries.

The champions will also act as ambassadors for their employers and the wider rural sector, promoting land, environmental and aquaculture industries to the next generation of talent, helping to ensure that new entrants are involved in relevant skills consultations, policies and strategies.

The initiative will complement the work already being carried out by organisations such as the Royal Highland Education Trust and Food and Drink Federation Scotland.

The champions have all been finalists in Lantra Scotland’s Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards, which celebrate the success of outstanding people in the workplace.

Kevin Patrick, Director of Lantra Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be working with the champions to provide them with opportunities for personal and professional development, and are very grateful to their employers for supporting the initiative. They will also be given the chance to be involved with career events, consultations on standards and qualifications, case studies and activities related to their industries.”

15 industry champions attended the event at the Royal Highland Show on Friday. Hayley Eccles (2016 Aquaculture runner-up), Jacob Eunson (2017 Agriculture winner) and Emma Staniforth (2017 Trees and Timber winner and overall winner) met prospective trainees and apprentices and will continue to work with Lantra throughout the year.

Lantra is the sector skills council for land-based, aquaculture and environmental conservation industries, and works with the Scottish Government, skills agencies, trade organisations, membership bodies and individual businesses to support learning and skills development across Scotland’s land-based, aquaculture and environmental conservation sector. 

Lantra is supported in Scotland by the Scottish Government.