TAFE SA is partnering with the Master Butchers Cooperative (MBL) to train a new generation of workers and boost skills in the retail meat industry.
MBL has launched a New Apprentice Support program, offering financial incentives to MBL members who take on a new apprentice this year and register them for training at TAFE SA.
The move is designed to combat a shortage of skilled workers in the industry and reflects the strong working relationship between MBL and TAFE SA.
Through the program, MBL will contribute to the start-up costs, after subsidies, of an apprentice’s training and their wage on the days they are at TAFE SA.
MBL CEO Jamie Higgins says the program will help members in the short term and the industry as a whole in the longer term.
Apprentices will complete the Certificate III in Meat Processing (Retail Butcher) at TAFE SA’s Regency Campus, where they will receive comprehensive training, including making smallgoods and sausages.
TAFE SA lecturer Shayne O’Dea says Regency’s purpose-built training centre includes a butchery and meat processing facility and students get to work alongside industry experts including recognised chefs.
“There’s a simulated environment where we’re really teaching the trade, not just enterprise skills,” Shayne says.
Butcher Matthew Cursaro, of Trafford Meat and Smallgoods at Campbelltown, says the MBL program coupled with government support such as JobMaker is a good thing for the industry.
“Any support is appreciated, but the combination of COVID incentives and the MBL’s offer is great,” he says.
Matthew says finding the time and money to train apprentices is a challenge for many small business owners, and he expects the MBL’s support will be welcomed by other butchers.
Matthew has taken on two apprentices, Giovanni Rocca and Andrew D’Amato, this year, after being impressed by their interest in the industry and willingness to learn.
“They really want to be here, and they have a genuine interest in the paddock to plate concept,” he says.
For more information about the New Apprentice Support program, email MBL at ApprenticeButcher@mblsa.com.au. More details about the Certificate III in Meat Processing (Retail Butcher) are on the TAFE SA website.