National Apprenticeships Week

Young Butcher Of The Year - Andrew Brassington from the Ludlow Food Centre

The Ludlow Food Centre is celebrating the success of its apprenticeship programme as part of National Apprenticeships Week. The Ludlow Food Centre’s butchery team includes four apprentices under the supervision of head butcher John Brereton. They are all local lads that have chosen to learn a trade rather than pursue a more conventional educational route. In doing so one of the four has recently won the ultimate accolade, British Young Butcher of the Year. Andrew Brassington started at the Food Centre under Mr Brereton when he was just 16 and is now fully trained. He says

‘It was a great achievement for me and my mentor John Brereton. It’s nice to get credit for the passion and hard work I have put in to the job for the last four years. I grew up on a farm and butchery seemed like a good career for me so I am glad it’s paid off’

Having been trained as an apprentice himself Mr Brereton believes investing in young talent and offering opportunities. He has spent four years training Andrew and putting him though a variety of exams. John says,

‘With reports of over 1 million young people unemployed I am really proud of all our young butchers for wanting to learn a trade. When you have a trainee as committed and passionate as Andrew it makes the job easy and I am really pleased for him.’

With reports recently of unemployment reaching more than 1 million in the UK it is encouraging to see that some traditional professions are still gaining interest from young people. The Ludlow Food Centre employs more than 40 16-24 year olds amongst its 90 staff, almost 50% of the workforce, with many learning new skills or on apprenticeships. Tom Hunt, marketing manager says,

‘We believe strongly in encouraging local young people to understand food and get involved in food production and retail. Our butchers are a great example of how young people can learn a trade that will always be in demand and give them good prospects in the future.’

Andrew’s success should be an inspiration to the now 1 million unemployed young people in Britain. There are many professions that are being forgotten with butchery amongst them. If these were more widely promoted we could see more young people getting in to work and driving the economy forward.

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