Bringing Home The Bacon – Butchery Apprentice Success

Optimum Skills have recently celebrated the achievement of Ryan Carr, who has successfully completed his butchery apprenticeship. Ryan is the first Optimum Skill Apprentice, and one of the first in the North East to pass the Level 2 Butchery Qualification.

“I’m glad I’ve got the apprenticeship under my belt. It’s a skill I can use in life to progress my career in butchery.” Says Ryan.

End Point Assessment

The Level 2 butchery standard qualification requires apprentices to demonstrate skills, knowledge and behaviours within a butchery setting. In addition to completing level 2 awards in health and safety, food safety and knife skills, alongside functional skills qualifications (Maths & English).

Assessment of the qualification is completed by an external awarding body (in this case FDQ) following a successful period of teaching from Optimum Skills within the workplace. The end point assessment required Ryan to showcase a portfolio of evidence, complete a multiple-choice exam and a practical skills assessment as well as a discussion on the subject.

Ryan described how for the practical side of the assessment he was required to split a side of pork down into 3 Primal cuts. The assessor then picked a primal for Ryan to prepare and cut correctly alongside a display element of the products. Ryan demonstrated his precision knife skills managing to cut the meat to weigh exactly 1kg first time to meet EPA specifications. Ryan said, “he found the EPA easier than he expected it to be and now knows all the nerves where unnecessary”.

Ryan’s Apprenticeship Journey

Since leaving school Ryan had been working as a weekend assistant at McFarlane’s butchers in Barnard Castle, whilst there he was offered the opportunity to do his butchery apprenticeship. With an interest in butchery already Ryan was excited to get stuck into learning more about the trade as an apprentice.

Ryan said about finding the opportunity. “I enjoyed the work and the work environment from my Saturday job at the butchers. It was something I could see myself pursuing.”

Fran, Ryan’s tutor from Optimum Skills, regularly visited Ryan for his off the job training. Teaching the necessary skills, knowledge, and behaviours for Ryan to successfully complete the apprenticeship.

Ryan has learned about the Development of the Butchery industry to the modern-day including values, culture and traditions, selection processes, provenance and procurement. Ryan has learned about primal and secondary cuts of pork beef and lamb. Along with developing his knowledge and knife skills to cut meat to specific requirements and weights, food safety and health & safety.

This apprenticeship has helped Ryan to improve and work on his customer service skills, being in the shop and serving customers has helped him build on his confidence, communication, personal, and interaction skills.

Optimum Skills are very proud of the work which has been put in by Ryan, Fran, and McFarlane’s butchers to help and support Ryan to achieve his apprenticeship.

Contact us to find out more about apprenticeship opportunities in butchery, or if you are hiring for a vacancy. / 01325 311832