NAFC Students’ Achievements Recognised.

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The new Ertie Nicolson Prize (L-R): Faith, Margaret and Phillip Nicolson, John McCulloch (prize winner), Stuart Fitzsimmons (NAFC Head of Aquaculture Training) and Saro Saravanan (NAFC Aquaculture Trainer).

Prizes were awarded to fifteen NAFC Marine Centre UHI students on Friday at the Centre’s annual awards ceremony. The prizes recognised the students’ hard work and achievements during the academic year 2017/18 across a range of disciplines including aquaculture, fishing, engineering and navigation.

The awards were presented before an invited audience by guest speaker Tavish Scott MSP and Captain George Sutherland (NAFC Trustee, representing the Northern Lighthouse Board and Bells Nautical Trust). In his opening remarks, Mr Scott paid tribute to the prize winners and to all of NAFC’s students over the past year. He also highlighted the success and growth of NAFC since it started training students more than 25 years ago, and the national and international reputation and recognition that it has gained during that time, as well as the Centre’s important role in making the case for the importance of seafood to Shetland.

Among the awards presented this year was a new prize in memory of the late Ertie Nicolson and NAFC Principal Willie Shannon welcomed Ertie’s family, wife Margaret and children Faith and Phillip, who were present to see the new prize being awarded. Ertie had a long association with NAFC, and with Shetland’s seafood industries. In fact his involvement with the Centre preceded its creation – as Chairman of the Shetland Fish Processor’s Asscociation, Ertie was one of the original signatories of the deed that created the Shetland Fisheries Training Centre Trust, the charity set up to establish a fisheries college in Shetland.

Following its opening, Ertie worked in NAFC in various roles, including for Shetland Seafood Quality Control, NAFC itself, and for the SIC, where he helped develop its Coastal Zone Management function before taking over as the Development Department’s Head of Fisheries. Following his retirement Ertie continued his association with NAFC, serving as a Trustee of the Shetland Fisheries Training Centre Trust for ten years from 2004 to 2014, and as Chairman of the Trust for the last three of those years.

The new Ertie Nicolson Prize, which is sponsored by the Hunter and Morrison Trust, is awarded for the best student completing a Technical Apprenticeship in Aquaculture Management, the ground-breaking new professional development programme in Aquaculture Management developed by NAFC. The prize was awarded to John McCulloch of Cooke Aquaculture, based at their Quoys Hatchery in Unst, who recently became the first student to complete the award (see https://www.nafc.uhi.ac.uk/news/national-first-for-john-and-for-nafc.html). NAFC’s Head of Aquaculture Training, Stuart Fitzsimmons commented that John had been an excellent student overall and was a worthy winner of the new prize. He noted also that the new course was attracting world-wide interest from aquaculture staff interested in undertaking it.

The prize-winners are only a few of the more than 1,300 students that enrolled on full or part-time courses at the NAFC Marine Centre over the last academic year (equivalent to more than 150 full-time students).

Full List of Prize Winners

Prizes presented by Tavish Scott MSP:

Aquaculture

Jim Tait Prize for Aquaculture

(sponsored by the Hunter & Morrison Trust)

The Jim Tait Prize for Aquaculture for the best student completing a Modern Apprenticeship in Aquaculture (SCQF Level 5) was awarded to Daniel Cruz of Scottish Seafarms, based at Vidlin.

Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation Award

(sponsored by the Scottish Salmon Producer’s Organisation)

The Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation Award for the best student completing a Modern Apprenticeship in Aquaculture (SCQF Level 7) was awarded to Leonard Laurenson of Grieg Seafood Shetland, based at their Gonfirth site.

Ertie Nicolson Prize

(sponsored by the Hunter & Morrison Trust)

The new Ertie Nicolson Prize for the best student completing a Technical Apprenticeship in Aquaculture Management (SCQF Level 9) was awarded to John McCulloch of Cooke Aquaculture, based at their Quoys Hatchery in Unst.

Fishing

Class 1 Fishing (Deck Officer) Prize

The Class 1 Fishing (Deck Officer) Prize for the best student to have completed their Deck Officer (Fishing Vessel) Class 1 Certificate of Competency (Class 1 Skipper's Ticket) was awarded to Ian Shearer from Whalsay, skipper of the whitefish trawler Courageous (LK 470).

Ian previously won the Jeanette Williamson Prize in 2013, and was voted the Fishing News Young Fisherman of the Year in 2016.

Jeanette Williamson Prize

(sponsored by the Hunter & Morrison Trust)

The Jeanette Williamson Prize for the best student to have completed their Deck Officer (Fishing Vessel) Class 2 Certificate of Competency (Class 2 Skipper's Ticket) was awarded to Stewart Hutchison from Whalsay, who is on the whitefish trawler Venturous (LK 75).

Forbes Watt Prize for Navigation

(sponsored by the Hunter & Morrison Trust)

The Forbes Watt Prize for the best student to have completed the Officer of the Watch <500gt (Near Coastal) course was awarded to Richie Hutchison from Whalsay.

Engineering

Tammy Laurenson Prize for Engineering

(sponsored by the Hunter & Morrison Trust)

The Tammy Laurenson Prize for Engineering for the best student to have completed their Engineer Officer (Fishing Vessel) Class 1 Certificate of Competency (Class 1 Engineer’s Ticket) was awarded to Alexander Walker from Peterhead, engineer on the pelagic trawler Quantus (PD 379).

Jim Thomas Memorial Trophy

(Sponsored by the NAFC Marine Centre)

The Jim Thomas Memorial Trophy for the shore-based engineering student who has best displayed the qualities that the late NAFC engineering lecturer Jim Thomas treasured and promoted in his students was awarded to Laurence Shearer from Whalsay, who is an apprentice engineer with Malakoff Ltd.

Merchant Navy Officer Cadets

North Star Shipping Prize

(sponsored by North Star Shipping)

The North Star Shipping Prize for excellent effort and achievement by an Engineer Officer Cadet was awarded to Chris Chisholm from Nairn.

Clyde Marine Prize for an Engineering Cadet

Clyde Marine Cadet of the Year

(sponsored by Clyde Marine Training)

The Clyde Marine Prize for an Engineer Officer Cadet and the Clyde Marine Cadet of the Year Prize were awarded to Dominic Lickrish from Old Portlethen in Aberdeenshire.

Clyde Marine Prize for a Deck Cadet

(sponsored by Clyde Marine Training)

The Clyde Marine Prize for a Deck Officer Cadet was awarded to Robert Stanger from Kirkwall.

Nautical Institute Prize

(sponsored by the Shetland Branch of the Nautical Institute)

The Nautical Institute Prize for endeavour and achievement by a first year Deck Officer Cadet was awarded to Freddie Hedger from Woolmacombe in Devon.

 

Prizes presented by Captain George Sutherland:

Bells Nautical Trust Prize

(sponsored by the Bells Nautical Trust)

The Bells Nautical Trust Prize for outstanding effort and achievement by a Deck Officer Cadet in their final year was awarded to Robert Smith, originally from Foula.

Northern Lighthouse Board Prize for a Deck Cadet

(sponsored by the Northern Lighthouse Board)

The Northern Lighthouse Board Prize for a Deck Cadet awarded to the best deck officer cadet in their group in terms of academic achievement, excellence in assessment and consistent professional performance was awarded to Huw Baxter from North Wales.

Northern Lighthouse Board Prize for an Engineering Cadet

(sponsored by the Northern Lighthouse Board)

The Northern Lighthouse Board Prize for an Engineering Cadet awarded to the best engineer officer cadet in their group in terms of academic achievement, excellence in assessment and consistent professional performance was awarded to Ciaran Boyd from Dingwall.

Ciaran is sponsored by NorthLink Ferries and had just arrived in Lerwick that morning on the Hjaltland on which he is currently working.

 

A selection of photos from the event are available on the NAFC website at: https://www.nafc.uhi.ac.uk/about-us/photo-video/

 

NAFC student award winners 2017-18 (L-R): Daniel Cruz, John McCulloch, Stewart Hutchison, Laurence Shearer, Ciaran Boyd, Freddie Hedger, Robert Smith Ian Shearer, Robert Stanger. (Not present: Ritchie Hutchison, Leonard Laurenson, Alexander Walker, Christopher Chisholm, Dominic Lickrish, Huw Baxter.)