AN apprenticeship programme designed to save the butchering trade has produced its first Cork graduates.
The National Craft Butchery Apprenticeship Awards Cork, at the Cork College of Further Education’s Bishopstown campus, celebrated its class of 2022, the first apprentices to receive the QQI level 5 certificate in craft butchery from the Cork programme.
The new apprenticeship was developed by the Mayo Sligo Leitrim Education and Training Board (MSLETB), in collaboration with Associated Craft Butchers of Ireland (ACBI), as part of a national strategy to provide the skills required for the Irish fresh-food sector. It comes amid concerns that the tradition may be at risk as fewer young people enter the industry.
The two-year programme delivered hands-on experience as well as knowledge about the range of meat and meat products. It also honed in on the techniques required to process and prepare high-quality products.
The director of FET, Cork ETB, John Fitzgibbon, congratulated the graduates on completing the programme.
“This is an important day for both the apprentices and for the programme,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
“It is setting the direction being referenced by the Department of Further Education as a valuable career. Programmes such as the National Craft Butchery are extremely valuable in getting skills in a craft area or discipline and this first group of apprentices are the first Cork group to journey to this milestone.”
The programme has grown in recent years through successful collaborations with Cork College of Further Education and Training and Galway Roscommon Education and Training Board (GRETB). Training is now provided in four locations: Dublin, Cork, Galway, and Sligo.
The National Butchery Apprenticeships initiative is now taking applications for their September programme. For more information about the National Craft Butchery Apprenticeship programme, or information on how to apply please, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.