Five trainee butchers from across Scotland have been recognised for their skills and progression in the Scottish Craft Butcher Training Awards.
The awards, sponsored by the Scotch Butchers Club run by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), are in their second year. They play a valuable role in recognising the efforts of young people to develop their butchery skills throughout their careers, as well as those who offer support along the way.
Tom Grierson of Grierson Bros, Castle Douglas won “Training Mentor of the Year”, an award for the individual who has encouraged a trainee in their development within their workplace.
Kevin McMillan of Donald Butcher Ltd, Uddingston took home “Training Partner of the Year”, an award for the employer or business which has successfully engaged with Scottish Meat Training and the assessors, to maximize the potential of their trainees.
Ryan Briggs of AJ Learmonth, Jedburgh was the recipient of “Level 3 Modern Apprentice of the Year” an award for those excelling in their training. Ryan recently won a Meat Skills Competition for under 22’s and will go on to compete as part of Team GB in the World Butchery Challenge 2018.
James Winters of Kilsyth won “Level 2 Modern Apprentice of the Year”. Mr Winters excelled in primal cutting, boning, seam cutting and trimming. He started his apprenticeship in The Cross Butcher, Kilsyth, a member of the Scotch Butchers Club. James was also a finalist for the “Extra Mile Award”.
Joseph Patterson of Buckhaven scooped the “Extra Mile Award” which recognizes those who have gone the extra mile in their own progression, new product development, customer service or in any way that has had a positive effect on the business they work in.
Joseph, who works in W F Stark Butchers (a member of the Scotch Butchers Club) was nominated by his customers for his outstanding customer service. He often helps elderly members of his community who are struggling to get to the shop by dropping off orders at their homes. He was also a finalist for “Level 3 Modern Apprentice of the Year” award.
Among the finalists of the awards were several trainees from shops which are members of the Scotch Butchers Club. Calum Blake of Burntisland Butchers and Emma McLean of J & G Dossett, Kintore were recognised for their achievements this year.
The Scotch Butchers Club has around 250 members committed to sourcing top quality Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork from approved suppliers. The club is committed to helping develop training and skills in butchery and, ultimately, to growing the industry.
Graeme Sharp, Marketing Executive, Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Scottish Craft Butchers Training Awards this year and our congratulations go to all the winners and finalists recognised this year.
“Promoting and encouraging young butchers to develop and showcase their fantastic skills and ideas is key to the future of the industry and it’s great to see the passion and drive every one of these butchers has for their craft.”