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Course Description

Butchery is a highly skilled profession steeped in tradition and butchers will display understanding about a range of meat species and the various techniques needed to process and/or produce products. In addition, butchers will be able to cut, prepare, package and present meat products to the standards required of the business and specialist needs of commercial and/or consumers. Butchers will have a range of skills, knowledge and behaviours that can lead to rewarding careers in the butchery industry, not only in the UK but across the world.

Who is the course for?

For anyone aged 16 and above who are entering the meat industry, either retail, processing or catering sectors.


There is no maximum age to begin the process and it can commence at any time of the year.

How long does it take?

Typically 18 months to 2 years.

What qualifications will I get?

  • Level 2 Standards Apprenticeship in Butchery;

  • FDQ Level 2 Award in Food Safety;

  • FDQ Level 2 Award in Health & Safety;

  • FDQ Level 2 Award in Knife Skills;

  • Functional Skills Certificates in English and maths (if not achieved already)

How is training delivered?

All training is delivered at the workplace! We compile a training plan and provide a portfolio with either handwritten or online workbooks.


A trainer visits every 8-10 weeks on a day which is convenient and learners receive fortnightly support calls.

Are there any costs involved?

The apprenticeship is a Government funded course, however the employer will pay either a deposit or contribution fee, depending on the apprentice age.

  • £500 deposit if aged 16-21 which is refundable once completed;

  • £450 contribution which is about 5% of the training if aged 22+.

Are there Assessments?

There is an End-Point Assessment (EPA) conducted by FDQ. There are three parts to the EPA:

  • Practical assessment lasting 75 minutes;

  • Multiple-Choice Examination. 60 questions and time allocated is 90 minutes;

  • Vocation Discussion. 1-2-1 interview lasting 30 minutes.

Benefits to the Learner

  • Earn while you learn and get paid a competitive salary;

  • Get high quality training paid for by your employer and the Government;

  • Following successful completion of the apprenticeship, apprentices are recognised by the Institute of Meat (IoM) entitling them to use the initials M.Inst.M;

  • Student discount card available.

Benefits to the Employer

  • A productive and effective way to upskill and future-proof an organisation;

  • Provide hands-on and practical experience to develop knowledge, skills and behaviours;

  • Achieve a real return of investment, grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce;

  • Government incentives to assist employers.

Role of the Employer

Apprenticeships are employer led, are the responsibility of the employer and have support from MEAT Ipswich. Employers provide:

  • Induction training;

  • Workplace learning activities, shadowing opportunities, coaching and mentoring;

  • Co-operate with the requirement of 20% off-the-job training hours.

Role of the Training Provider

MEAT Ipswich will provide:

  • Initial advice and guidance;

  • Help with identifying learning gaps;

  • Progress reviews and learner support;

  • Theory training;

  • Support in preparing the apprentice for their End Point Assessment.

Job Progression

A butchery apprenticeship can open many doors and create opportunities for you. There are hundreds of different jobs involved in the food business, preparing, processing and marketing the quality of food products demanded by today's consumers.

Career Opportunities:

  • Butchery supervisor / manager

  • Product Developer

  • Further Education - L3 Advanced Apprenticeship, Degree in Meat Science

  • H&S Officer

  • Social media influencer

  • Brand ambassador

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