Scott’s up for another top award

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AWARD-WINNING Bute graduate Scott Simpson has been shortlisted for another top academic prize.

Scott (22), a former engineering student at Oatridge College in west Lothian and the current Lantra Scotland Landbased Learner of the Year, has been nominated by Oatridge as a finalist in the Scottish Qualifications Authority’s Star Awards - widely seen as the ‘Oscars’ for education and training north of the border. 

He will travel to Glasgow to attend the awards ceremony and dinner on November 4 for another highlight in a remarkable year the farmer’s son.

In March he became the sixth Oatridge student in seven years to scoop the top award from Lantra, the sector skills council for the land-based and aquaculture industries. The publicity which followed led to him being ‘head-hunted’ by local firm John Mackirdy Haulage to take on the role of fleet maintenance engineer.

Since then Scott has passed the test to allow him to drive enormous 44-tonne articulated trucks and has gained a driver certificate of professional competence and a vocational training certificate for carrying dangerous goods, while building up his experience of handling the full range of vehicles in the Mackirdy fleet.

Scott has always been fascinated by ‘big machines’, and trained as an agricultural engineer at Oatridge. He completed his modern apprenticeship last June at Hamilton Brothers in Bishopton, where he was immediately promoted to field service technician covering the islands off the west coast.

Throughout his apprenticeship he travelled daily between Bute and Bishopton by car, ferry and train, adding at least two hours to each end of his working day, in order to help on the family farm at Ballycaul and maintain his active role in the Bute Junior Agricultural Club.