Butcher Apprenticeship

Level 2

A Plumpton College butchery apprenticeship will equip the apprentice with all the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in an increasingly popular, in-demand and growing sector which relies on people skills which cannot be replaced with automation.

Apprentices will acquire the skills and knowledge to practice the art of butchery at the highest level, learning to cut, prepare, and make modern meat products as required by their employer. There are many different career paths available with apprentices selecting one of three pathways based on their job role;

  • Retail,
  • Instore or
  • Processing Butchery.  

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

What apprentices will learn

  • Knife skills - including cutting, boning, trimming and mincing of meat
  • Health and safety practices, food safety and hygiene and key legislation
  • Using butchery tools and machinery – including mincing, sausage making, bacon curing, vacuum packing
  • Business profitability, maximising productivity, efficiency and customer care
  • Team work and customer care skills
  • Specialist retail shop or processing plant butchery skills

Qualifications Awarded

  • Apprenticeship Certificate
  • Level 2 award in food safety
  • Level 2 award in health and safety
  • Level 2 award in knife skills
  • Level 1 in maths and English (if applicable)

Delivery model

A blended learning experience with a mixture of live online learning and attendance at Plumpton College Butchery School in East Sussex, approximately every fortnight (term time only). Quarterly workplace competency and efficiency observation and assessments.

End Point Assessment

  • Multiple choice test
  • Practical skills assessment
  • Vocational competence discussion

Apprenticeship Graded

  • Fail, Pass, Pass with Excellence

Course details


Typically 18 Months

Entry Requirements

Maths and English assessment.

Job role suitability assessment.

To enrol onto an apprenticeship programme you need to be employed with a contract of employment. If you have an employer lined up or are already employed please contact our Apprenticeship Team on 01273 892127 or via email.

If you do not currently have an employer please visit the main Apprenticeships page for guidance on how to find and apply for an apprenticeship opportunity or register for our Talent Bank service.

A Plumpton Butchery School Apprentice will learn butchery from ‘farm to plate’, with visits to a farm, livestock market, abattoir and specialist butchery events.

Apprentices will be taught by industry trained tutors with extensive experience running and working in different butchery settings.

Apprentices taught by Plumpton College have won the Institute of Meat ‘national apprentice of the year’ awards for the last four years.

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