Students at TAFE SA are proving that any age is a good age to become a butcher.
Scott Herriman, 31, is one of more than half a dozen mature-age apprentices completing their training at TAFE SA’s Regency Campus.
In search of a productive career, Scott considered becoming a chef but when he realised his interest in food only went as far as meat, he decided a butcher was probably the ideal gig.
He completed the Certificate II in Meat Processing, which includes specialised training in selecting, cutting, trimming, preparing, packing and arranging meat and meat products for supply and sale.
Graduates of the Certificate II course can be eligible for apprenticeships and Scott was quickly snapped up by Saints Foodland at Salisbury.
He hasn’t looked back and is thrilled with the opportunity the meat industry has provided him.
“Being a butcher is not as gruesome as it sounds – it’s good work,” Scott says.
“It’s not a high-stress industry, although there are deadlines. I like that there’s a mix of physical work and the chance to use finer skills.
“I also like the value-adding aspect when I get a chance. Making things look appetising and easy to cook like schnitzels and chicken rolls.”
Training continues one day a week at Regency Campus where, he says, he appreciates the down-to-earth and knowledgeable lecturers.
“I like that it’s not just sitting in a classroom, there’s a fair amount of hands-on work. The skills practice and amount of time working on the meat is excellent and you learn things quickly.”
Lecturer Shayne O’Dea said TAFE SA’s Regency Campus was the best-equipped training centre in the state.
“It’s a simulated environment where we’re really teaching the trade, not just enterprise skills,” he said.
“Our students have access to a great butchery and meat processing facility and get to work alongside industry experts including recognised chefs.
“The qualifications they gain will enable them to work anywhere in the world.”
Mr O’Dea said TAFE SA also offered workplace training across the state, from the South East to Eyre Peninsula.
Employers are encouraged to make a time to visit Regency Campus, check out the facilities and meet students.
“Work experience is an essential part of the Certificate II course, so we’re always looking to foster networks between students and employers,” Mr O’Dea said.
TAFE SA delivers Certificate II and Certificate III in Meat Processing, as well as traineeships and apprenticeships. Short courses in Cured & Smoked Products and Sausage Making are also available.
For more information, phone 1800 882 661 or visit tafesa.edu.au/butchery