Award-winning apprentices named


LISA Askham, an aquaculture apprentice who works for the Scottish Salmon Company, has won the Aquaculture category at Lantra Scotland’s annual Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards. The runner-up spot went to Hayley Eccles, who works for Scottish Sea Farms (SSF) in Strathcarron.
Other champions from the aquaculture industry were Martin Mladenov, who works for SSF in Shetland, and Marcos Garcia, who works for Dawnfresh, who were both Council of Awards of Royal Agricultural Societies (CARAS) winners. Matthew Anderson, who works for Dawnfresh, won the Higher Education Award, but was unable to attend the event.

Lisa recently completed her Modern Apprenticeship SVQ Level 2 in Aquaculture at Inverness College UHI while working as a Freshwater Operative at The Scottish Salmon Company’s Russelburn Hatchery in Kishorn.

She said: “Thank you to Lantra Scotland for giving me this fantastic award. It’s great to be recognised for your efforts, and it’s a real boost for my self-belief and confidence in my abilities. Thank you to everyone at Inverness College UHI and Alasdair MacDonald, my manager at Russelburn Hatchery. Without the support and help of those around me, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Matthew Anderson did a BA (Hons) Degree in Aquaculture and is now working as an Assistant Farm Manager for Dawnfresh.

He said: “Thank you Lantra Scotland and CARAS for this great award, it is the culmination of a lot of hard work over the past year. I hope it will help encourage others to start a career in the aquaculture industry in the future. I’d like to thank all involved in the Dawnfresh Graduate Programme for giving me the opportunity to gain experience within the aquaculture industry and also everyone who I have worked with in Dawnfresh Farming.”

Martin Mladenov has completed his Modern Apprenticeship SVQ Level 3 in Aquaculture at Scottish Sea Farms (SSF) and NAFC Marine Centre, part of the University of Highlands and Islands. Martin is working as a Husbandryman for SSF.

He said: “Winning the CARAS award is a real honour. Thank you to Lantra Scotland and CARAS for giving me this award and to everyone who has helped me along the way, particularly my tutors at NAFC and my employer, Scottish Sea Farms. I hope I have done Shetland proud!”

Marcos Garcia studied Zoology at Cardiff University, before completing an MSc in Sustainable Aquaculture at Stirling University. He then went on to join the Dawnfresh Graduate Programme where he now works as an Assistant Farm Manager.

He said: “It is great to be an award winner tonight and it makes all the hard work worthwhile. I’d like to thank Gideon Pringle, Lyndsey Gaja, and everyone involved with the Dawnfresh Graduate Programme for all their support and guidance over the years. I’m sure it will help to give me the confidence to go on and succeed in what is a highly competitive industry.”