‘Apprenticeships for all’ celebrated at IoM and WCB Annual Prizegiving

‘Apprenticeships for all’ celebrated at IoM and WCB Annual Prizegiving

Echoing a key theme of National Apprenticeships Week, the Institute of Meat (IoM) and Worshipful Company of Butchers (WCB) Prizegiving this year demonstrated how the meat industry is a welcoming place for all.

The 2024 winners of the IoM and WCB Annual Prizegiving. | Picture: Phil McCarthy.

Over a hundred guests gathered at Butchers’ Hall in London on Thursday 28th February to recognise the achievements of the winning apprentices, their employers and training providers.

The apprentice category winners each received a cheque for £250, a framed certificate and a years free membership of the Institute of Meat.

The most prized apprentice award, Champion Meat Apprentice, sponsored by Meat Management magazine, was won by Helena Akroyd of Craggies Farm Shop, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. Helena received a winner’s trophy and certificate, a years free membership of the IoM – plus an additional cash prize of £500.

IoM chief executive Keith Fisher, together with Master of the Worshipful Co, Chris Wood, presented awards to the following category winners:

Best New ApprenticeJoshua RobinsonMorrisonsWindsor Food MachineryRemit Training
Best Retailer Butchery ApprenticeHelena AkroydCraggies Farm ShopNational Craft ButchersLeeds City College
Best Independent Retailer Meat ApprenticeOlivia SlackCrich ButchersDalziel Ltd  MEAT Ipswich
Best In-Store Multiple Retailer Butchery ApprenticeEsther SollisMorrisonsIoM (Paul Edkins Memorial cup)Remit Training
Best Meat Processing ApprenticeAna MarquesGressingham FoodsBritish Meat Processors AssociationWorkforce Training & Development
Best Abattoir Worker ApprenticeMichaela RobinsonCranswick Country FoodsABP Food GroupWorkforce Training & Development
Best Apprentice Showing Management Potential in a Manufacturing EnvironmentLuke HobsonPilgrims UKWorshipful Company of PoultersBishop Burton
Best Meat Apprentice Showing Real Management PotentialNiall HutchinsonMillets Farm ShopOakfield Foods LtdMEAT Ipswich
Lord Graham Endeavour AwardMatt AxefordMorrisonsIoM (Kenneth Jenkins cup)Remit Training
Best Company Training SchemeKepak, Bodmin IoM  Workforce Training & Development
Best Meat Training Provider of the YearWorkforce Training & Development WCB (Fred Mallion Bowl) 

A new generation of butchers making the craft their own

Women made up over fifty percent of the winning apprentices, with two-thirds of the total number over 25 years of age.

Commenting on the prizegiving, Keith Fisher said: “When we launched the awards over 30 years ago our intentions were to provide formal recognition of butchery skills and to keep the craft of butchery alive. I’m proud to say that I think we’ve played our part in achieving much more than that. Not only do we have a new generation of butchers respecting the traditional craft of butchery, but one that is making it their own. Butchery is now a hotbed of innovation, some of it driven by the very people who have been recognised over the years at our prizegiving.

“It’s also becoming ‘cool’ to be a butcher, whatever your age, gender or background. Butchers are increasingly being recognised as artisan craftspeople. Who’d have thought it?”

In addition to the apprentice awards, seven accomplished butchers were also granted their Institute of Meat Master Butcher accreditation (MB.Inst.M).

These butchers received their IoM Master Butcher certificates of accreditation from Bill Jermey, chairman of the IoM, who said: “I’m delighted to see these talented butchers join the prestigious ranks of Institute of Meat Master Butchers. Every year we receive a number of applications. Not all make it; the assessment process is by intention rigorous, so they have done very well indeed and are a credit to the industry. They demonstrate real mastery of the art, from field to fork.”

IoM accredited Master Butchers 2024

Simon Taylor (MB.Inst.M)Surrey Hills Butchers
Jason Hilliard (MB.Inst.M)ABP Beef
Nicholas Davies (MB.Inst.M)ABP Beef
Joseph O’Sullivan (MB.inst.M)Booker Group
Steven Russell (MB.Inst.M)Booker Group
Jason Robinson (MB.Inst.M)Booker Group
Philip Turpin (MB.Inst.M)Asda

The final award given on the day was to Danny Upson, retail butchery sales director, Dalziel Ltd, who was awarded a Fellowship of the Institute of Meat for services to the meat industry.

For more information about the prizegiving or how to nominate an apprentice, please contact Sheryl Horne at the Institute of Meat: info@instituteofmeat.org

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