For a group of four unemployed youngsters, Friday 7th December was passing out day at McIntosh Donald in Portlethen.
The great news at the end of a five week course organised and funded by the National Food and Drink Academy, was that all four course participants were told that they would be starting full time jobs within the Aberdeenshire meat plant on the following Monday morning.
Darren Klos, Ian Clark and Greg Drysder started in the Further Processing and Packing section and Lauren Hoon was employed in the Technical Department. Over the duration of the course, the four teenagers were given a full induction into the meat industry and into McIntosh Donald’s own procedures. The training undertaken by Helen Johnston and Malachi McCann from the Perth based, Scottish Meat Training, included food safety, health and safety, communication, confidence building and knife skills.
The course also involved work experience for all four in the meat plant, starting work in a busy department at 6.00am each day. The participants got involved with bagging, vac packing, labelling, palletising meat and processing offal as well as putting into practice the specialised training in knife skills.