My Experience as an Apprentice Butcher – Josh (National Butchers Week)

Josh (Level 2 Butchery Apprenticeship – Stoneygate Farm Shop, Ravensworth)

“This apprenticeship gave me skills to help me develop myself not only as a butcher but as a forward-thinking individual too. I am over halfway through my apprenticeship now and am gaining more and more confidence every day on the job.”

“The skills which I have learned and developed through the duration of my apprenticeship include knife skills, Health and Safety, customer service and the history surrounding butchery. But of course, these are the skills which you would expect to gain through a butchery apprenticeship right? Well, I found that I have developed more than just my butchery skills, thinking strategically, and being business-minded are just a small selection of other skills learned. Costing methods and staff organisation allows me to gain valuable knowledge which may help me later on, in whichever path I choose to go down.”

“This apprenticeship will not only develop you as a butcher but also as an individual. Some of the things I enjoy the most in my apprenticeship are surprising when I look back to where I was this time last year. Going into my apprenticeship I was nervous about serving customers, as I had never worked in a customer-facing role. Although I may not be out the front serving customers all the time, the time I do get talking to customers I really treasure and find it rewarding when I get good feedback about a product, I was responsible for.”

“My favourite task is definitely carcase breakdown, as you truly do get to see the products taking shape from start to finish, and you get hit with a sense of pride when customers comment on how great they look.”

“If I were to advise someone considering this apprenticeship, I would face them with two questions; firstly, have you a true interest in different meats, and their uses? And secondly, can you see yourself in the meat industry in 30 years? I really believe to get the most out of this apprenticeship, the ‘spark’ and ‘passion’ must be there from the start, or else the enjoyment will not be there, and it will become a chore to go to work. And no one wants that.”

“I personally had experience working with game meat before and wanted to try and implement my knowledge into a butchery environment, therefore I am constantly thinking of new ideas and ways to progress and find enjoyment in the challenge. If the passion was not there, then I wouldn’t enjoy the apprenticeship.” “The process with Optimum Skills has been good, it has been a smooth process, and surprisingly fast! And I feel I have had Fran there to support me every step of the way. If I am ever in doubt, I have her to give me support to help me through any work set despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic!  And yes, without a doubt I would recommend Optimum Skills to anyone considering an Apprenticeship.”

If you are looking to get started as an apprentice contact Optimum skills for more information and to find out about our latest vacancies!