Pilgrim’s UK launches new recruitment scheme for butchers

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

The new scheme has been designed to tackle the labour shortage
The new scheme has been designed to tackle the labour shortage

Related tags Meat & Seafood

Pilgrim’s UK, the pork producer, is launching a Butchery & Abattoir Academy to recruit new talent into the industry and creating dedicated facilities at its sites.

The industry has been facing challenges with a lack of labour and trained butchers​ due to the impact of Covid-19 and Brexit.

Last year, the Government introduced an emergency visa scheme​ to plug the gap which saw few butchers arrive in time for last Christmas. 

In response to these challenges Pilgrim’s UK has invested in the programme to support skills development in UK-based workers and open up new opportunities for people to develop a career in the sector.

Aspiring butchers

The scheme is open to any UK-based applicants, with aspiring butchers completing a Level 2 Butchery and Abattoir apprenticeship with the business’s training provider, Bishop Burton College. This will involve a mixture of classroom learning and working with the experienced on-site team.

The business is also offering ongoing development opportunities for those individuals who are keen to progress into supervisor roles, with Level 3 apprenticeships available upon completion.

The business said it was also supporting the Skilled Worker pipeline by recruiting overseas labour, predominantly from the Philippines where interest in butchery and manufacturing roles has been particularly high. 


Pilgrim’s UK’s Head of Butchery has played an instrumental role in recruiting the new employees from the Philippines and helping them settle into life in the UK, with the number of recruits doubling between April and August. 

Konrad Pacholski, head of butchery development at Pilgrim’s UK, said: “We’re really excited to be launching the Butchery Academy – recruiting people of all levels and abilities into the sector and educating them on the opportunities available is something I’m personally very passionate about. Labour challenges are impacting a number of industries and it’s something we’re working hard to tackle at Pilgrim’s UK as one of the UK’s largest food and farming businesses. We hope this trial is successful so we can continue to expand our offering in the years to come.”

Rachel Baldwin, vice president, human resources at Pilgrim’s UK, said: “We’re committed to providing training and employment opportunities as a business, which is why we’re being proactive in putting programmes like this in place. Labour shortages continue to put a strain on the sector, so we hope that this initiative will go some way in helping to attract recruits into our industry and promote the opportunities available.”

Related news

Show more

1 comment


Posted by Leslie Lantey Lawson,

I'm interested in the uk occupation shortage list program
Hoping to hear from you soon
Thank you

Report abuse

Follow us

Featured Jobs

View more


Food Manufacture Podcast

Listen to the Food Manufacture podcast