ABP UK backs Level 2 Trailblazer scheme

ABP UK has started 29 new apprentices on its ‘Process Butcher’ pathway through the Level 2 Butchery Trailblazer Apprenticeship. 

Five of the group’s UK manufacturing sites will be involved in the training: Shrewsbury, York, Ellesmere, Langport and Guildford. At each site the apprentices will be engaged in the boning halls – learning both traditional butchery skills as well as how to work in a production scale environment. ABP is the first major meat manufacturer to incorporate the new apprenticeship into its business.

The 29 apprentices span a wide age range, with the youngest being 16 and the eldest 39. The wide variety in ages showcases the fact that the Butchery Trailblazer is also a valuable means of upskilling existing staff or retraining new employees.

Developed by employers, the Level 2 Standard details all the core skills, knowledge and behaviours required by butchery businesses – be they manufacturers, independent retailers or supermarkets.

As one of the founding members of the Butchery Employer Trailblazer Group, ABP is committed to raising the bar for butchery training. Since its inception the company has championed the need for recognition of the specialist skills required by the process butcher. As a result, the Level 2 Standard includes a clear ‘Process’ pathway. This route covers a wide range of important skills; from precision cutting and boning to customer specifications, estimating saleable yield and predictive costings to understanding the audit and inspection process.

Colin Duffy, ABP UK’s operations director, said: “We operate in a highly competitive environment, and work to exacting standards. We depend on the precision cutting skills and speed of our process butchers to meet those standards and deliver excellent product quality. The Level 2 Apprenticeship is the first of its kind to recognise and respond to the particular butchery skills needed in the processing sector.”

The processor added that it was awaiting the implementation of the new Apprentice Levy, due May 2017. It believes the aim of the levy is to give employers greater control of their apprentice programmes, and simplify the process of recruiting and organising apprenticeships. “With a long track record of investing in training, ABP is well placed to take full advantage of the levy, and plan to play their part in helping achieve the government’s pledge to create three million apprenticeships by 2020.”

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