All new Butchery Apprenticeships for Wales

All new Butchery Apprenticeships for Wales

The long-awaited re-launch of the Welsh Food and Drink Apprenticeship Framework is now complete. Within this framework are two new butchery and meat processing  pathways:

  • Level 2 Butchery and Meat Processing
  • Level 3 Advanced Butcher and Meat Processing

The new apprenticeships are the result of a collaboration between Welsh government and stakeholder groups including butchery employers, colleges and training providers. The objective was to create an apprenticeship that provided training which was better aligned to specific job roles – whether retail butcher, meat processing operative or abattoir worker. As a result the apprenticeships now have separate ‘routes’ employers can select, depending on which sector they operate in.  The new Level 2 Butchery and Meat Processing pathway, for example, is also underpinned by three mandatory qualifications:

  • FDQ Level 2 Award in Knife Skills for Meat Processing
  • FDQ Level 2 Award in HACCP based Food Safety Systems
  • FDQ Level 2 Diploma for Proficiency in Butchery and Meat Processing (Wales)

The Level 3 Advanced Butcher and Meat Processing pathway is supported by a higher level qualification, the FDQ Level 3 Diploma for Proficiency in Butchery and Meat Processing (Wales).

The qualifications have been developed by leading food specialist awarding organisation, FDQ, supported by the Institute of Meat. FDQ are the only awarding organisation to offer these qualifications in Wales and are also credited with having led the design of the award-winning butchery apprenticeship in England.

Study topics closely aligned to job role

The new Diplomas enable employers to select from a wide range of learning units to ensure their apprentices are acquiring the knowledge and skills needed in their particular business.  For example, the Level 2 apprenticeship’s Retail Butcher pathway contains the following options, amongst many others:

CuringSeam butcheryWild game butchery
Sausage makingAdding value to meat/poultry productsPrinciples of breed and pre-slaughter animal selection
Preparing sauces/marinades by handDisplaying meat and poultry for saleButchery of red meat primal joints

Practical assessments, which will usually be completed ‘on the job ’also form part of the new qualifications.

Award winning apprentice – Ben Roberts

Cambrian training butchery apprentice Ben Roberts is living proof that apprenticeships work! In addition to placing third in the apprentice category of the World Butchers Challenge Ben, who works for ME Evans Butcher in Overton, Wrexham, is a Skills Excellence in Wales Ambassador and is currently studying for an apprenticeship in Business Management.

‘Ben has demonstrated perfectly what can be achieved in career progression through apprenticeships.’

Cambrian Training’s Executive Chair, Arwyn Watkins OBE

Increased government funding

In Wales, apprenticeships are fully funded by government, meaning employers are not required to contribute to their apprentices training costs. In acknowledgment of the improved and more substantial content of the new apprenticeships and corresponding qualifications the Welsh Government have increased funding considerably. This ensures that training providers and colleges are able to deliver the depth of training the new courses demand. Importantly, for butchery employers this should result in more ‘work ready’ skilled apprentices at the end of the programme. 

Currently there are two options for accessing the new butchery apprenticeship training in Wales, though more colleges and training providers are expected to come on stream this year:

  • Coleg Cambria – Deeside
  • Cambrian Training Company – Welshpool

‘In my view the new Welsh Butchery and Meat Processing Apprenticeships pathways are a step change from what went before. The mandatory Diploma qualifications underpinning them are also much more comprehensive and have units specifically designed for the either the retail butchery or process/abattoir environment. This means employers can be confident that whilst their apprentices are away from the shop they are acquiring the knowledge and skills relevant to their particular occupation and that will help them become a real asset to the business.’

Terry Fennell, Chief Executive of FDQ

For more information about the new apprenticeships and corresponding qualifications contact

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