Cumbria Crack

Success for Tebay Services’ Apprenticeship Scheme

Newly qualified butcher Dean Carson

[A] butchery apprenticeship scheme based at celebrated motorway service station Tebay Services has successfully trained up 8 young butchers in 9 years. The latest apprentice to successfully complete his training is local lad, Dean Carson.

Attracting, training and retaining younger skilled staff is a key issue for the butchery industry. Around two out of three butchers are facing succession difficulties and the average age of a butcher is now over 50. It is no surprise therefore that England has seen a staggering reduction in butcher’s shops, from over 22,000 in the mid-1980s to 5290 in 2016.

The Tebay Services’ Butchery Apprenticeship Scheme began in 2008, when the services introduced a traditional butchery facility to the farm-shop on their southbound site. Over the last ten years the department has grown to include meat maturing and cutting rooms, which supply the butchers’ counters in both northbound and southbound farm-shops. Today, a growing team of 14 skilled staff offer advice and prepare meat to customers’ specifications, stocking traditional cuts of meat alongside seasonal specialties like sweetbreads and seasonal game.

The scheme gives young people the chance to gain a globally recognised qualification in butchery, passing down valuable traditional skills.

This crucial hands-on approach isn’t available through more academic routes of education, and being part of the Westmorland Family, with its own farm providing lamb and beef to the services, means apprentices gain a solid understanding of animal welfare issues and the impact food miles have on the quality of meat.

David Morland, Head of Butchery Tebay Services said: “At Tebay Services we are proud of the traditional methods we use. We break down the whole carcass in a nose to tail approach; as a result we can offer our customers a varied range of good, flavourful cuts. We run a thriving butchers shop, at our busiest we make over a tonne of sausages a week! In setting up the Butchery Apprenticeship Scheme we wanted to pass on a skill that is sadly disappearing from modern butchery practice. Dean is our 8th apprentice to qualify over the last nine years and we’re at a stage where our earlier-qualified apprentices are now passing on their knowledge and skills to the new guys. We’re always looking for talented new people to join our team, and welcome a phone call and a chat about training as a butcher.”

Tebay Services is always looking for talented people to join their butchery teams. For more information, please call the butchery on 015396 24511.

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