• Comprehensive 12-month course with accredited qualification
• Dunbia keen to keep critical skill alive as demand for local beef rises
• 60% reduction in independent butchers in last 25 years

Highland Meats of Saltcoats has today launched their new Butchery Academy in collaboration with Scottish Meat Training. The new programme, lasting between twelve and fourteen months, will provide education in what is a dying trade in the UK. With the demand for local beef rising, Highland Meats’ owner Dunbia wants to ensure that the future of the industry is protected through teaching and upskilling.

According to the Office for National Statistics, there are now approximately 6,000 independent butchers in the UK but that is down from around 15,000 in 1990. Dunbia has recognised the important role butchers play in communities in providing top quality, local meat and have launched the Butchery Academy with Scottish Meat Training to protect and enhance this vital industry.
Hands-on training is central to developing butchery skills, and Dunbia’s re-development work at Highland Meats over the summer has created the perfect place for the apprentices to hone their skills. The apprentices will start off by learning the basics of trimming and the different cuts of meat as they progress through the course. Craft Butchers from Scottish Meat Training will be visiting Highland Meats to assess the apprentices’ performance as they work toward a Level 2 accreditation in food and drink operations (meat skills). This accreditation is a recognised qualification across the industry.

Speaking at the launch of the Butchery Academy Steven Dobson, Butchery Academy Manager at Highland Meats, said:

“With demand for quality local beef constantly rising, we want to ensure that butchery as a profession can keep pace with this trend. For something which was once a hugely desirable vocation, butchery has been declining in recent years, particularly amongst young people. Dunbia is keen to attract people to the profession, as well as upskill those already working in it, so that top quality produce remains accessible to the consumer. I wish all of our new apprentices’ the best of luck in their studies”.