Eighteen-year-old Emily Smith has been named as the “equine learner of the year” – for her dedication to training – at the Lantra Scotland land-based and aquaculture learner of the year awards ceremony on 1 March.
Lantra is the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for land-based and environmental industries, providing training and helping people to find environmental and agricultural jobs.
Miss Smith was nominated by Barony College, Dumfriesshire, after completing a National Certificate in equine studies.
“I really want to progress my career and become a head groom some day, so I hope that having my skills recognised [by this award] will help me get there,” she said.
“When I know I have done my best and the horses are happy and comfortable it gives me a great sense of pride.”
Rachel Rosscraig, 19, who had studied a SVQ level 3 in horsecare at Elmwood Collegeequine runner-up of the year“.
“I find the most satisfying part of the job when we get difficult or unbroken horses,” she said.
“It is a great feeling of achievement when you learn to cope with different horses’ temperaments.”
The awards are designed to encourage people to take up a career in the land-based sector and make employers aware of the benefits of a well-trained workforce.
Scottish Minister for youth employment Angela Constance attended the awards ceremony.
She said: “Often in a time of economic uncertainty it is staff training and skills development that can suffer first.
“However, successful businesses will recognise [that] it is during such times when investing in skills can carry even more importance.”
For more information on the work of Lantra visit www.lantra.co.uk