National Craft Butchery Apprenticeship Awards awarded by Minister of State for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins, TD

Mayo Sligo Leitrim Education and Training Board (MSLETB) welcomed the Minister of State at the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Niall Collins, TD  for the presentation of awards to graduates of the National Craft Butchery Apprenticeship Programme with the their certificates at Teagasc, Ashtown Food Research Centre, Dublin on the 12th of April, 2022. The Class of 2021 are the first group of apprentices to receive the QQI level 5 Certificate in Craft Butchery.

Speaking at the event, Minister Collins said “I am delighted to be here with you today to celebrate the success of the MSLETB National Craft Butchery Apprenticeship Programme and to recognise the achievement of the first graduates”.

This new generation apprenticeship was developed by MSLETB in collaboration with Associated Craft Butchers of Ireland (ACBI) as part of the national strategy to address existing and future skills needs of the Irish fresh food sector and more specifically the Irish butchery sector, a sector with the lack of new entrants to the trade was at risk of losing its craft and generations of tradition.

This is a two-year programme delivered primarily “On-the-Job” by experienced Craft Butchers. The programme is supported by “Off-the-Job” learning in a training environment. Through this programme craft butchery apprentices gain an understanding of a range of meat & meat products and the various techniques needed to process and prepare high-quality products.

In light of the pandemic the programme has grown from strength to strength via successful collaborations with Cork College of Further Education and Training and Galway Roscommon Education and Training Board (GRETB), training is now provided in 4 locations; Dublin, Cork, Galway, and Sligo, giving a total apprentice population of 107 and 85 retailers.

On completion of the programme the apprentices will have gained a range of skills, knowledge and competencies, and an internationally recognised QQI Level 5 Certificate in Craft Butchery, all necessary to embark on a career in Craft Butchery.

 Minister Collins congratulated the many stakeholders involved in making the programme a national success and finished by congratulating the employers, mentors and the graduates, Congratulations on this achievement and for successfully completing a programme during all the disruptions caused by the pandemic, you should be very proud.   I wish you all the very best of luck in your career and for the future.”

For more information about the National Craft Butchery Apprenticeship programme, to become an approved employer, or to register an apprentice, contact [email protected]


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