Butcher shortlisted for apprenticeship award

Wrexham butcher Matthew Edwards has been named as a finalist for the Higher Apprentice of the Year Award at this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru. 

The 24-year-old works for Vaughan Family Butchers, Penyffordd and has won Welsh Young Butcher of the Year, a place in the British butchery team and numerous sausage making competition wins, including becoming the first WorldSkills UK butchery champion last year.

Having progressed from a Foundation Apprenticeship to an Apprenticeship in Meat and Poultry Industry Skills, Matthew recently completed a Higher Apprenticeship in Food Manufacturing Excellence Level Four. The programmes have been delivered by Welshpool-based Cambrian Training Company.

“I have achieved more than I thought imaginable since starting my apprenticeship,” said Edwards. “I am very committed to what I do within the business as this is my future that I am working towards and it’s my life ambition to be successful and open my own shop.”

He’s also passing on his skills to a new apprentice butcher recruited by the shop, which he runs for two days a week and when owner Steve Vaughan is on holiday.

Vaughan said: “Matthew’s enthusiasm and commitment to his work is outstanding. He has made a massive contribution to the business and smashed every target that I have set him.”

Wales’ Minister for Skills and Science Julie James congratulated him and the other 32 shortlisted award finalists. “We are proud to be delivering one of the most successful apprenticeship programmes in Europe with success rates in Wales remaining well above 80 per cent.

“Developing skilled people is vital for our economy. We have some truly exceptional apprentices here in Wales and the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provide a perfect platform for us to celebrate their hard work and achievements. Equally important are the learning providers and employers who go the extra mile to support their apprentices.”

Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the Higher Apprentice of the Year Award take place at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on October 20 and celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals, employers and learning providers who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeships, Jobs Growth Wales and Apprenticeship programmes. The awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC and supported by media partner, Media Wales.

The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

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