NAFC Student in Finals for British Education Awards

NAFC Student Emma Rochester has been named as a finalist in the British Education Awards.

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Emma Rochester was awarded the Jim Tait Prize for Aquaculture in 2019.

Emma was nominated for the award by NAFC's section leader for aquaculture training, Stuart Fitzsimmons, who said that "Emma is one of the best candidates to have completed NAFC's Modern Apprenticeship in Aquaculture at level 2. Throughout the programme she impressed us with the quality of her work and her professionalism in the work place."

After sailing and working with Tall Ships, Emma, who lives in Yell, first joined NAFC's Merchant Navy Officer Cadet Programme and trained as a deck officer. She then switched to the aquaculture industry, joining Cooke Aquaculture in Yell. She enrolled on NAFC's level 2 Modern Apprenticeship in Aquaculture and in 2019 was awarded the Jim Tait Prize for Aquaculture for the best student completing the course. Emma is currently enrolled on the Centre's level 3 Modern Apprenticeship in Aquaculture.

The British Education Awards (BEA) promote excellence in British education and recognise the value and importance of education and learning as the foundation to a good quality of life and for the future success of the Nation. The BEA identifies and celebrates individuals who have excelled within the British education system. In doing so, the awards acknowledge that success comes down to personal endeavour and application. Educational attainment is not possible without the desire and commitment of each student to further themselves through knowledge and learning.

The news of Emma reaching the finals of the BEA awards comes only days after two other NAFC aquaculture apprentices, Valentina Romano and Jimmy Dakin were shortlisted for the Lantra Scotland’s 2020 Awards.

NAFC Principal, Willie Shannon, said that "Emma, Valentina and Jimmy are to be congratulated on being shortlisted for these prestigious national awards. These well-deserved nominations reflect the hard work and commitment that all three students have displayed throughout their training at the NAFC Marine Centre. It also highlights the quality of the training delivered at NAFC and the efforts of our aquaculture training staff in supporting these and all our other students during their training."

The BEA awards will be presented at a formal dinner in Manchester on 30th January.

Further Information

NAFC Aquaculture Apprenticeships

British Education Awards

Contact: Stuart Fitzsimmons,, 01595 772000.