Saltcoats Butcher Academy wins national industry award

Saltcoats Butcher Academy wins national industry award

Dunbia Highland Meats in Saltcoats has been named Training Partner of the Year at the Scottish Craft Butchery Training Awards 2021.

Chloe McInnes, HR manager at Dunbia Group, accepting the award for Training Partner of the Year.

Dunbia’s Butcher Academy was launched in October 2019, five months prior to the UK’s first Covid-19 lockdown. Due to the restrictions, inspectors were unable to access the site and so the company looked at other means of assessing their trainees and decided to go virtual.

The Butcher Academy’s online platform offered trainees an option where they could continue their studies over the lockdown and were able to be routinely assessed via Microsoft Teams.

Assessor Gordon Wallace, who nominated Dunbia Highland Meats for the award, said: “The collaborative working, the extensive use of technology and the drive to find a solution to each hurdle as it presented itself, not only allowed uninterrupted skills development of their apprentices, but contributed greatly to the body of core skills evidence that underpins each apprentice’s progression through their course.”

Dunbia Highland Meats employs more than 330 people at the Saltcoats plant with 14 apprentices currently attending the Butcher Academy.

Gordon King, executive manager at Scottish Craft Butchers, said Dunbia Highland Meats was “an outstanding example” of a company seriously committed to investing in its apprentices.

He said: “This is a company which takes its apprentices on a complete journey from the moment they enter the Butcher Academy. When other meat processors called a halt to assessor access for its trainees, they moved forward and created an alternative solution.

“Their commitment to their apprentices is exactly the type of support that shows how seriously they treat the training of our future qualified workforce.”

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