A Myerscough College arboriculture apprentice has won a national award.
Gabriella Jardin was named a winner at the inaugural Land-Based & Environment Learner of the Year Awards 2023 in the category of Arboriculture, Forestry and Woodland Management.
Lantra and Landex teamed up to celebrate talent in the land-based & environment sector with England and Northern Ireland’s inaugural Land-based & Environment Learner Awards.
The Land-based & Environment Learner (LBEL) Awards were launched by leading land-based training & qualification awarding body Lantra, and the representative body for land-based colleges and universities, Landex, with the aim of celebrating and rewarding the industries’ top candidates.
Gabriella is only the Royal Horticultural Society’s second female arborist, working at RHS Bridgewater in Salford, and recently completed a Level 2 apprenticeship in arboriculture.
After leaving a career in academia to pursue a role working outdoors, she said she hopes her new role might inspire others to think about jobs that do not conform to stereotypes.
Gabriella has been tending to trees and felling to create space for different species to increase biodiversity and enable other trees to thrive.
Gabriella says said she had spent almost 10 years studying, with a masters in science and geology, followed by a PhD in ocean and earth science.
She said: “I guess I knew when I was wrapping up my PhD that I wanted to move into a career that had more time outside and on my feet.”
“I’m grateful for the opportunity. It’s obviously a very male-dominated field. Personally, I’ve never cared too much about stereotypes or anything like that.
“So I saw the opportunity come up, thought ‘I could do that’ and went for it.
“But I guess it is something that hopefully might inspire some other young girls out there to think about a career that’s less typical and a bit more active on your feet, because it is a lot of fun.
“If you’ve got a head for heights and you like being outside it is one to maybe think about.”
Dr David Llewellyn CBE, Lantra’s Chair of Trustees commented: “Whilst the headlines may concentrate on the important topic of a lack of qualified individuals and skills in the land-based and environment industries, we think the equally important abilities and achievements of those thousands of learners who are dedicated to helping grow our workforce of tomorrow, are both celebrated and rewarded.
“Lantra is committed to promoting the land-based and environment sector as a great place to work and forge a fulfilling and long-term career and we’re confident that employers, colleges and learners alike will be equally keen to shine a well-deserved spotlight on our future industry stars”.
Marcus Clinton, Chair of Landex commented: “There is so much amazing talent across the network of land-based colleges and universities who are doing such a great job supporting the land-based and environment sectors and employers with their workforce of tomorrow.
‘’Being able to shine a light on and recognise the hard work and achievements of our students makes for a very special evening”.