Kevin Patrick is a Director of LANTRA Scotland and our guest blogger today. LANTRA is the Sector Skills Council for land-based, aquaculture and environmental conservation industries in Scotland. It works closely in a number of areas with organisations like Scottish Natural Heritage, with support from the Scottish Government.
One of our key responsibilities at LANTRA is to promote the value of investing in skills for businesses and other bodies within the land-based, aquaculture and environmental conservation industries. This includes conservation groups and volunteers, as well as community land management interests.
At a more strategic level, LANTRA aims to influence the development of skills policies and funding for the benefit of businesses and organisations in the sector.
Further key roles for Lantra include active promotion of the diverse and rewarding careers available in the sector, and helping to ensure that education and training provision reflect industry demand. Our annual Land-Based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year awards falls within the former, and our works on ‘occupational standards, qualifications and apprenticeship frameworks,’ in the latter.
Lantra also work directly with industry organisations and employers to improve skills. For example, we are involved with SNH’s Deer Management Round Table and support the actions being carried out under the ‘Training and Wild Deer Welfare’ section of ‘Scotland’s Wild Deer: a National Approach’.
SNH have made valuable contributions to some of the reviews which Lantra is carrying out on qualifications and training. These include the review of Scottish Vocational Qualifications in Environmental Conservation at levels 2 and 3, and also our work to introduce a new, multi-pathway Modern Apprenticeship at levels 2 and 3 to include environmental conservation, estate maintenance and estate management.
Recently we have been encouraging employers within the sector to put forward their nominations for the 2016 Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards. Our annual awards recognise the achievements of Scotland’s rural and urban learners, as well as encouraging employers to invest in training and skills development. Over the years, this has proven to be an effective way to communicate and celebrate the value of gaining qualifications, developing skills and improving standards.
Nominating someone for a LANTRA award is well worth the effort and can have a big impact on the individual. Take young Callum Low for example. This remarkable young hill keeper from Arbroath has become a rising star and an inspiration to others since winning ‘Overall Winner Land Based Learner of the Year’, ‘Game and Wildlife Learner of the Year’ and ‘Modern Apprentice of the Year’. We look forward to giving other people the chance to shine at next year’s much anticipated awards ceremony.
SNH supports LANTRA’s Learner of the Year Award in Game and Wildlife Management … won by John Weir from our Kinlochewe office in 2013.
Images : The Loch Lomond outdoor picture (c) and courtesy of Paul Saunders, the Lantra award picture (c) and courtesy Iain Forrest.