Doherty is urging butchers not to miss the March 20 deadline to register online to showcase their skills at the WorldSkills UK National Competition. Entry is quick and easy online at: worldskillsuk.org
Award-winning training provider Cambrian Training Company, based in Welshpool, has been appointed to organise the butchery competition on behalf of WorldSkills UK and has brought together the main players in the meat industry to form a steering group.
Regional heats or assessment rounds will take place between April and July and the six top scoring butchers from across the UK will qualify for the final at The Skills Show, to be held at the NEC Birmingham from November 19 to 21. The Skills Show is the nation’s largest skills and careers event and helps to shape the future of the next generation.
Doherty knows a thing or two about butchery and selling quality meat products, having established a 170-acre rare breed, free range farm as both a tourist attraction and working farm. In addition to a farm park, there is a restaurant, field kitchen, retailers, farm shop and butchery, where his award-winning sausages are made.
Customers can order fresh meat online at jimmysfarm.com/shop/ 24 hours a day with options ranging from sausage packs and classic roast joints to meat boxes. Committed to natural and traditional farming methods, Jimmy takes great pride in the quality of his butchery.
Endorsing the WorldSkills UK National Competition in butchery, he said: “It is one of those fantastic skills that is absolutely integral to the UK’s food production systems and it is often overlooked. Butchery is a fantastic trade to be involved in but is definitely one of those skills that needs revitalising.
“It’s so important to encourage young butchers today so that these essential skills are not lost. We definitely need more independent high street butchers in our towns and villages!
“It’s so important that young butchers enter the competition as a chance to show off the great skills that we have in this country. I hope that it will also inspire other young people to start up this essential trade. Once learned and mastered, these skills are absolutely invaluable to the food industry in the UK.
“Recently, we have seen the rise of celebrity ‘superchefs’, but wouldn’t it be great to see celebrity butchers coming to the fore too?
“Raising the standard of modern butchery can have an impact in many different ways. First and foremost, I hope it will introduce the consumer to a whole array of different cuts of meat that are available and put a spin on our traditional Sunday roasts – from pork chops to bangers!
“I run a butchery on the farm with four full-time butchers and it’s integral to the farming business. I have personally learned and enjoyed traditional bacon curing which is delicious.
“We know that not everyone can make it to the farm though so we have put our free-range butchery online. Twenty-four hour delivery is available and all produce is delivered in temperature-controlled meat boxes for ultimate freshness.”
WorldSkills UK National Skills Competitions are designed to enhance apprenticeship and training programmes and improve and drive skills in the industry. Butchery is one of more than 60 skills to feature in this year’s competitions.
Having taken butchery apprentices to demonstrate their skills at the Skills Show every year since 2011, Cambrian Training Company was keen to add the vocation to the skills competition to raise the profile of skilful butchers across the UK.
The company also runs the annual Welsh Young Butcher Competition and contestants have expressed a desire to compete against peers on a national and international stage.
“Two of our apprentice butchers have recently been selected to represent Great Britain in an international competition, which has highlighted how few opportunities exist for them to showcase their skills in the UK,” explained Arwyn Watkins, Cambrian Training Company’s managing director.
“It’s important that butchery is represented as a skill at WorldSkills UK because it’s a real craft that needs to be benchmarked and promoted. Its inclusion for the first time will be a great tool to raise the industry’s standards and profile because WorldSkills is like the Olympics of the skills world.”