Leeds City College celebrates women in the butchery industry

To commemorate International Women’s Day (Tuesday 8 March), Leeds City College celebrated the success of women in the butchery industry, by showcasing the skilled women who study with the institution. 

The trade is often thought to be male-dominated. Despite this, Leeds City College said more women were taking up the vocation and it aimed to close the gap in gender inequality.

“In recent times we have seen an increase in the number of females entering the butchery industry. Here at Leeds City College we are continually trying to promote this fact,” said the college’s butchery lecturer James Richardson.

“We currently have two girls working as apprentice butchers in retail environments and studying with us at college one day per week. There are vast opportunities for both sexes within this large and diverse industry.”

One example of the success of women in the industry is Sarah Cummings, who started an apprenticeship with the college in 2013 and is now one of a number of apprentices who have since been employed by the butchery department.

She has completed her Intermediate Certificate for Proficiency in Meat & Poultry Industry Skills (Level 2), and is currently working on the Advanced Certificate for Proficiency in Meat & Poultry Industry Skills (Level 3).

Cummings initially started studying her A-Levels while working part-time in a butcher’s shop. However, when her study options did not work out for her, she looked into a vocational qualification to support her practical abilities. She originally started the college as a student of butchery, but when tutors recognised her natural talent for the trade, she was offered the opportunity to join the department as an apprentice.

She said: “I had the basic practical skills, and working and studying in college has enabled me to learn and develop the accompanying technical and academic elements.”

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