The new pork modules on the Meat Education Programme (MEP) aim to help the industry address the challenge of finding people with good knife and butchery skills to work in butchers’ shops, abattoirs and meat processing plants.
It followed the success of its existing lamb and beef modules, offered online through the MEP, which has seen more than 7,000 certificates awarded and course materials downloaded 20,000 times.
Master butcher and meat expert Dick van Leeuwen said: “There are many people who work in the pork supply chain who could benefit from further developing their skills and understanding of meat. The Meat Education Programme enables them to do that for free, online and whenever they want.
One-stop-shop for training
“Through the beef and lamb modules, we’ve already trained thousands of people. It’s now routinely used in the retail and foodservice supply chains, at catering colleges and in retailers across the country. Training companies are even using them as a basis to run courses, so the new pork modules will make the programme a one-stop-shop for red meat training.”
Originally launched in 2015, the programme now consists of nine practical and 13 theory modules across a number of disciplines within the meat industry.
Butchery training provider Crosby Management Training (CMT) chief executive Paul Cadman added: “We’re delighted to see that the excellent Meat Education Programme has now been updated to include pork.
“This is a much-needed addition; we at CMT cannot wait to get all our apprentices active on the revised AHDB MEP website.”
Meanwhile, international snacks and drinks giant PepsiCo has utilised funds made available by the apprenticeship levy to plug skills gaps across its manufacturing base.
The manufacturer, which won the training award at last year’s Food Manufacture Excellence Awards, has used levy funding to enhance and standardise its training and now boasts 275 apprentices on programmes in its UK manufacturing sites.