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Director of Research and Development at Aquaponics UK - Becky Bainbridge

From Scotland via Wakefield to Africa… Aquaponics can make a huge difference to many people’s lives, in Africa providing a sustainable source of food, while in the UK it could be a potential growth area for jobs.  Twenty-four-year-old Becky Bainbridge is a great advocate for aquaponics and one of our former Scottish Land-based Learners of the Year - a competition that we run to celebrate the skills of those working in the land-based and environmental industries.

Fisheries Teacher - Fred Lockhart

Fred Lockhart, a Fisheries Teacher, developed a keen interest in fishing at an early age; his grandfather often took him fishing at week-ends and during the summer holidays. Fred first joined an angling club at the age of 10 years and is currently a member of the Professional Angling Guide and Instructors Network (PAGIN).

Fish Biologist - Debbie Parke

On leaving school Debbie Parke decided to pursue a course in child care. However, it wasn’t long before she realised she had made the wrong choice. Unsure of her next steps, she came across information about the HND course in Farm and Fishery Management offered by Barony College. From there her career has roller coastered. “When I began studying at Barony College I was the only girl in a class of 14.  My lecturer, Don Patterson really encouraged me during this time, making me believe in myself and my capabilities. I successfully gained a merit award on completion of this course.”

Fish Farmer - Shane Kenny

Even the smallest mistake can cost many thousands of pounds when you’re looking after 350,000 trout on a fish farm. This is why the right training is so important in the aquaculture industry, and especially for Dawnfresh, the single largest producer and processor of trout in the UK. Twenty-one-year-old Shane Kenny is a perfect example of how the right training, hard work and motivation can transform a newcomer into an invaluable member of staff on a fish farm like those run by Dawnfresh at Loch Etive on the west coast of Scotland.

Arborist - Mike Crawshaw

For an Arborist, aiming high is an obvious part of the job but with Mike Crawshaw it is more of an ethos, which has helped him achieve goals in spite of losing his right leg to cancer. Aged 17 Mike had his right leg amputated after discovering he had bone cancer.

“I was always very active and after the operation and treatment for my illness I decided I wasn’t going to let it get in the way of doing the things I loved. In fact it made me more determined to lead an active life.”

Mike learned to climb as an amputee and while working in IT joined a local climbing club.

Assistant Harvesting Manager - Euan Christie

As far back as he can remember Euan Christie has been involved in forestry. His father worked as a head forester on an estate, and Euan spent many week-ends and holidays working alongside his father. Confident that this was the career for him, Euan attended Inverness College where he completed a Higher National Certificate, followed by a Higher National Diploma in forestry, which included a placement year. 

Garden Manager - Susan Stuart

When Susan Stuart joined Thrive at Battersea Park as Garden Manager in 2006 she wanted to make a difference. She has. But she would agree the difference made by her (and to her) by Thrive is nothing compared to the beneficial effects of the charity’s way of training - and opening doors - for ‘those touched by disability’… whether through physical impairment, a learning disability or mental ill health.

Head Gardener - Liz Ensor

Apprenticeship training might be more often associated with big companies but an apprentice can gain much broader experience in a small organisation. This is the case at Shenley Park in Hertfordshire where two horticulture apprentices have become invaluable members of the team. Liz Ensor is Head Gardener at the 45-acre rural park created after the closure of a psychiatric hospital on the site, which dates back to the Domesday Book. She says apprentices gain a unique understanding working in a small team of five such as hers.

Farmer - Marcus Ferraro

The experience of growing up on his family farm in Wales inspired 21-year-old Marcus to pursue a career in agriculture. "It was an obvious choice for me" says Marcus, who started farm work in his early teenage years. He gained a wealth of experience on his family farm, and at the age of 13 went to work on other farms in the local area too.

Dog Trainer - Jacqui Law

Jacqui Law from Carmarthenshire in South Wales is a Director at Extremus Dog Training.

Despite being interested in working with animals from a young age, it was only once her children had finished school that Jacqui decided to pursue her dream of a career in animal care.