THREE trainees from Fife have been short-listed for Lantra Scotland’s Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards, and one of them is from Lochgelly.

The awards ceremony will take place at the Doubletree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro Hotel, on Thursday March 7 and the finalists are Jack Burton, Kyle Baker and Lauryn Penman.

Jack is aged 20 from Windygates, and is doing a Modern Apprenticeship in Trees and Timber with the Falkland Stewardship Trust through SRUC.

Kyle, aged 19 from Glenrothes, is also doing a Modern Apprenticeship in Trees and Timber with the Falkland Stewardship Trust through SRUC, while Lauryn, aged 18, from Lochgelly, has completed her NC in Horse Care at SRUC Oatridge.

She is a remarkable young person who initially didn’t think she could achieve the NC, but is now studying at HNC level through her sheer hard work and determination. Lauryn is a role model for other equine students and regularly helps at Open Days.

Lauryn said: “Studying has not only raised my self-esteem, but has given me the determination and courage to progress this year to an HNC in Equine Studies, a level I never dreamt possible.”

Lantra Scotland is the sector skills council for land-based, aquaculture and environmental conservation industries, and the awards play a vital role in promoting careers within the rural sector, celebrating the achievements of learners and highlighting the importance to employers of investing in skills.

MC and host for the evening will be well-known farmer and stand-up comedian, Jim Smith.

Liz Barron-Majerik, Director of Lantra Scotland, commented: “We’re delighted to announce the finalists for our 2019 Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards.

"As well as highlighting the achievements of new entrants to our sector, the awards play a key role in promoting the importance of gaining qualifications and developing skills, for both trainees and their employers. Everyone who was nominated, whether a finalist or not, should be extremely proud of this recognition, and we look forward to celebrating their success at our ceremony in the DoubleTree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro on Thursday March 7.

"We are 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 event sponsors.”