Meat Supply Chain supported with newly trained workers
More than 6,000 people have reportedly passed the AHDB Meat Education Programme (MEP) training modules, which look to improve the skills of workers supporting the beef and lamb supply chain.
The importance of developing meat-handling skills in new and existing workers has been highlighted as the UK faces labour shortages ahead of Brexit.
Meat processing in the UK currently employs around 75,000 people, of which approximately 69% are EU nationals.
Since 2015, the programme has provided free online training for new and existing employees who work with meat. Due to the popularity of the beef and lamb training, new pork modules are expected to come on board in 2019.
AHDB programme development manager and master butcher, Dick Van Leeuwen, commented: “Since we started the MEP thousands of people have used the training to develop their knowledge and support long-term careers working with meat.
“We know that the meat industry is facing challenges with access to skilled labour, so it’s important to run training which is free and easy to access, helping workers to be more productive across the beef and lamb supply chain. Major training providers are using the programme and we also see students sign up on their own initiative, to help further their careers.”
The programme features 16 free theory and practical modules which each aim to develop skills for any person working in the meat industry, from butchers to meat marketing professionals. These skills gained can then be applied to industry jobs such as meat processing, food services and butchery.
Core online modules include: beef and lamb production and meat quality, identifying beef carcases for classification, and understanding different cuts.
The programme also has three beef and lamb practical modules for learners to demonstrate their skills by cutting a carcase into primal cuts and producing retail and foodservice cuts.