The well-respected training provider has had years of experience north of the border and recently expanded into Northern Ireland. At the request of the north-east members of the Guild of Q Butchers, SMT had applied for a contract to deliver meat and poultry qualifications to candidates in northern England through the Apprenticeship programme and through Train to Gain. These qualifications are available through SMT on a fully funded basis.
The launch at Washington was well-attended, with 40 butchers travelling from all over the north east. Roland Snel, of Verstegen in Rotterdam, and Mike Winrow, from Dalziel, demonstrated new product ideas, and recipes were circulated. Those attending also received a CD containing pictures of the products demonstrated.
Sandra Lennox, general manager for SMT, told MTJ: "It is great news for us. We are going to deliver NVQ Level 2 through Train to Gain funding. We have a Train to Gain contract for the north-east region. On the strength of that, we are hoping to open up apprenticeships to the region as well, so that we can offer the NVQ Level 2 to anybody in the retail meat industry, regardless of age."
She added: "There is not enough provision in the region and there is an opportunity for us to grow our business."
Lennox said SMT had initially been requested by Harry Coates to make training provision for his shop. "On the back of that, we were able to announce our presence with the Fun with Food evening," she said.