Success for Welsh butcher in Worldskills competition

North Wales butcher Matthew Edwards has won the Wales heat of the Butchery Worldskills UK National Competition, seeing off his three rivals in a fiercely-contested session.  

Edwards, 23, works for Vaughan’s Family Butchers in Penyffordd, near Chester, and now has to wait until August to discover whether he has made it through to the finals after the Northern Ireland and English heats are held.

The six top-scoring butchers from the combined heats will then go on to qualify for the grand final at the Skills Show which will be held at the NEC in Birmingham in November.

“I was surprised to win the heat to be honest, because the skill level was very high,” said Edwards, a former Welsh Young Butcher champion who represented Great Britain in a European butchery contest in Switzerland last year. “To win a WorldSkills UK heat is amazing.”

The runner-up was Daniel John Allen-Raftery, 31, of Randall Parker, Llanidloes, third was Peter Rushforth, 19, of Swans Farm Shop, Mold and fourth was Dafydd Jenkins, 21, of Ken Davies Butchers, Crymych.

Viv Harvey, judge and meat industry consultant, said: “It has been a very good competition and there were only 10 points between first and second places and just three points between third and fourth.

“We still have 28 other contestants to judge before we select the top six for the final, but hopefully at least one of you has done enough to go through to the final,” he said of the finalists.

WorldSkills UK National Skills Competitions are designed to enhance apprenticeship and training programmes and improve and drive skills in the industry. Butchery is one of more than 60 skills to feature in this year’s competition.

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