Naithin Williams, Sean Mooney, Paul McCaughan, Chris McGill, Warren Montgomery and Richard McKeown from businesses in Limavady, Ballycastle, Newtonhamilton and Muckamore received their NVQ certificates in Meat and Poultry Processing at the Dunadry Hotel from Gordon King of Scottish Meat Training.
The NVQ in Meat and Poultry Processing has helped the young trainees develop within the meat industry and enhance all aspects of their work. For both the bosses and their staff this was special recognition of the training that is an important contribution to their businesses' success.
The assessment of the candidates was undertaken by Scottish Meat Training (SMT), which now has a contract with the Food and Drink Training Council to deliver the Level 2 Modern Apprenticeship in Northern Ireland.
This activity in Northern Ireland is available for 16- to 24-year-olds and mirrors what SMT have been doing in Scotland for more than 25 years.
Scottish Meat Training works in partnership with butchers to ensure that employees are given good-quality training that enhances craft skills.
Meat skills are among the few remaining craft skills and "it is important for the success of the meat industry that they are kept alive and demonstrated by people employed in the industry," said King.
"It is very important in today's environment, when so much emphasis is on food safety and craft skills training, to acknowledge that these businesses have made a very serious commitment to training and, together with their employees, they can reap the rewards of their success."