Fás and National Butchery Academy to fill shortfall in meat processing

THE chance to help make up the shortfall of trained workers for the meat processing industry is available through a new course developed by Fás and the National Butchery Academy.

In response to shortages of suitably skilled people for the sector, the pilot training programme will provide new entrants with skills to work in the beef de-boning and trimming area.

Leading meat processing companies such as AIBP, Dawn Meats, Kepak, Dunbia, Kildare Chilling, Rosderra Meats, Ashbourne Meats and Jenning Meats have endorsed the programme: Butchery Skills specialising in Beef De-boning and Trimming.

It will be certified by the Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) and is targeted at the long-term unemployed and those previously employed in sectors most affected by restructuring. These include people who have worked industries such as construction and traditional manufacturing or others where recovery to previous levels of activity is not expected in the short to medium term.

The 20-week programme will have 50 places in the initial pilot phase, after which it will be evaluated with a view to further courses being run.

The course will be based at the National Butchery Academy in Ballinasloe.

As well as the key skills of beef de-boning and trimming, other foundation skills will be taught for the industry, including slaughtering, pig boning and trimming, sheep boning and trimming, retail butchery, catering and wholesale butchery.

The pilot course is due to begin in late February but anyone interested should contact any of the 56 local employment service offices, previously operated by Fás but which have transferred to the Department of Social Protection this month.

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