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SSC Modern Apprentice leaps for joy, crowned with triple award win

The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) Modern Apprentice Janis Brivkalns has won a hat-trick of accolades at the prestigious Lantra awards.

Janis, 34 from Dunoon, was crowned Aquaculture Learner of the Year, Modern Apprentice of the Year and Overall Learner of the Year at a glittering ceremony at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Dunblane Hydro, last night (7 March).

Based at Loch Striven, Janis completed a Modern Apprenticeship Level 2 in Aquaculture with Inverness College UHI. Using the skills he has been learning on the job, he has quickly progressed through the course, gaining many new skills including boat handling, firefighting, sea survival, first aid and fish health identification. 

The Lantra awards recognise outstanding trainees who demonstrate exceptional ability, hard work and a passion for their industry, with the most coveted title being Learner of the Year. Since the Lantra awards launched in 2004, there have been over 1000 nominees and 300 finalists, with 2019 being their largest awards ceremony yet.

Janis Brivkalns said: “I feel very honoured with these Lantra Awards, I wasn’t expecting to win and to find that I’ve won three awards is amazing. My job is incredibly rewarding, it’s a real privilege to work with the team, at the heart of salmon production. I enjoy being part of an industry that is so important to Scotland’s economy and heritage.”

Craig Anderson, Chief Executive of The Scottish Salmon Company, said: “To win three awards is a remarkable achievement, our congratulations go to Janis, he is an inspiration and we are extremely proud to see his dedication recognised by Lantra.

“With over 600 people across 60 sites, our people are our greatest asset and we are committed to investing in their training and development. We run over 12,000 hours of training annually and employ 38 modern apprentices across the business.”

Dr Liz Barron-Majerik MBE, Director of Lantra Scotland, said: “Our awards highlight the incredible individuals who work within Scotland’s land-based, aquaculture and environmental conservation industries as well as the many rewarding careers available. 

"I know our judges were very impressed again with the quality of the nominations, but this year they really couldn’t separate the two top learners. So for the first time ever, we have two overall joint winners, Amy and Janis. I’d like to congratulate them both and all the rest of our finalists too.”