Welsh butcher chosen as Learner of the Year finalist

A young Welsh butcher, who has been selected to represent Great Britain in a European skills competition, has been selected has a finalist for Learner of the Year.

Twenty-two-year-old Matthew Edwards, who works for S A Vaughan Family Butchers in Penyffordd, North Wales, is working towards an Apprenticeship in Meat and Poultry Industry Skills with Cambrian Training Company. Since joining Steve Vaughan, he has won the Young Sausage Maker competition at last year’s Bpex Regional Roadshow. Edwards will also compete in the Champion of Champions contest at this year’s event in Newark in October.

Trevor Davies, a training officer at Cambrian Training Company, said: “Matthew’s achievements in industry-recognised competitions are a true reflection of his talent and he has set a high benchmark for others to follow.”

His success has been noticed by the organisers of the Welsh Vocational Qualification (VQ) day – an awards ceremony for young people excelling in their vocational education – as he has been selected as a finalist for Learner of the Year.

Alongside VQ day which is held on 4 June 2014, the Welsh government is encouraging employers offering apprenticeships to organise regional events to celebrate young talent. Wales’ deputy minister for skills and technology Ken Skates wished the nine finalists success: “Vocational Qualifications are the gold standard in professional excellence and we must ensure they are recognised alongside academic qualifications for their value to learners and the Welsh economy.

“Wales has a real wealth of talented and committed people who have excelled in their vocational studies and VQ Day is a chance for us to celebrate their achievements. A VQ award is more than just an award; it’s a symbol of dedication towards your chosen profession.”
“Since starting my training I have gone from runner-up to winning the Welsh Young Butcher competition and come runner-up in the Premier Young Butcher contest, which shows the progress that I’ve made,” said Matthew. “I have developed my skills by learning on the job and by being given the chance to take part in national competitions.”

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