Six butchers qualify for Butchery WorldSkills UK National Final

The six top-scoring butchers from the combined heats in Wales, Northern Ireland and England have been announced and will now put their skills to the test in the final at The Skills Show at the NEC Birmingham from 19 to 21 November. 

The Skills Show is the nation’s largest skills and careers event and helps to shape the future of the next generation. 

Representing Wales are Matthew Edwards, 23, of Vaughan’s Family Butchers, Penyffordd, near Chester, Daniel John Allen-Raftery, 31, of Randall Parker, Llanidloes and Peter Rushforth, 19, of Swans Farm Shop, Mold.

Representing England, after qualifying from two heats held in Leeds last month, are John Brereton, 40, butchery manager at the award-winning Ludlow Food Centre in Ludlow and Matthew Parkes, 21, assistant manager for Walter Smith Fine Foods in Willenhall,

From Ireland is Dylan Gillespie, 19, from Clougher Valley Meats, Clougher, Tyrone, who won the Northern Ireland heat at Southern Regional College, Newry.

Chairman of the judges at all the heats was meat industry consultant Viv Harvey.

Award-winning, Welshpool-based training provider Cambrian Training Company has been appointed to organise the butchery competition on behalf of WorldSkills UK and the heats were sponsored by The National Federation of Meat and Food Traders, Institute of Meat and Bpex.

Cambrian Training Company has brought together the main players in the meat industry to form a steering group to organise the new butchery competition.

Arwyn Watkins, Cambrian Training Company’s managing director, congratulated the finalists and praised the high standards attained in the heats. “We are really proud to bring butchery to the Skills Show for the first time and all six finalists should be very proud of their achievements to date in this competition,” he said.

“This is the skills showcase for butchery and we hope to make this inaugural competition one of the main features at this year’s Skills Show so that there is continued support in future years for butchers.”

Partners include Pearsons, Scottish Federation of Meat Traders, The National Federation of Meat & Food Traders, Institute of Meat, Eblex, Dunbia, Castell Howell Foods, Leeds City College, Improve – The National Skills Academy for Food & Drink, Hybu Cig Cymru - Meat Promotion Wales, Randall Parker Foods and Viv Harvey.

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