A YOUNG apprentice has proved to be a cut above after claiming a national butchery prize.
Daniel Lovatt, 23, has been fascinated with the meat industry since an early age and after gaining a Saturday job at a local butcher’s, in 2008 he approached Blagdon Farm Shop about the possibility of an apprenticeship.
There was no position available at the time, but Mr Lovatt persisted and was eventually taken on to learn about butchery from field to fork.
The course involved on-the-job training, in-house skills assessments and visits to abattoirs, farms and other meat businesses, as well as customer service and business skills.
After completing the meat management apprenticeship, Mr Lovatt was nominated by MEAT Ipswich in the prestigious Meat Training Council and Institute of Meat national awards.
And he was named Best Meat Student for Management, picking up £250 and a year’s membership of the institute.
He said: “I now have a skill that no one can take away from me.
“I chose Blagdon because of its good reputation and the fact that it still practices proper butchery skills, using its own animals from the farm. My plan now is to gain more experience so I can one day open my own shop.”
Mr Lovatt trained under Butchery Manager Simon Osborne and Mick Smith, who has 50 years’ experience.
Mr Osborne said: “I admired Daniel’s persistence in pursuing an apprenticeship with us so we decided to give him a chance.
“I have worked in the trade for 30 years and Dan is by far the best young person I have come across.”
The award was presented at Butchers’ Hall in London in a ceremony to reward apprentices, businesses and learning providers across the UK and Ireland.