Former Reaseheath butchery apprentice Jason Edwards has represented Team GB in the ‘Young Butcher’ category at the World Butchers Challenge in California, USA.
Jason, 28, was selected after winning a gold medal at last year’s WorldSkills UK Butchery national finals, which were held at Reaseheath – but this was his first competition experience at international level.
Although he was unplaced this time, Jason thoroughly enjoyed appearing on a global stage and held his own against competitors from 14 other countries.
He explained: “Many of the other butchers in my category had taken part two or three times previously, so they knew what the judges were looking for. The final scoring was very tight so I was pleased with my performance and learned a lot. If I’m selected again in two years’ time I’ll know what is expected.”
Jason flew to San Francisco and then had a road trip to Sacramento, where the competition was staged. Two days of recovery were followed by a week of team preparation, competing, social events and international networking.
Jason said: “There was an amazing atmosphere and it was a great privilege to be part of the massive butcher family which previously you’d only talked to online. I made contacts with competitors from all over the world and learned a lot about international trends.
“The event itself was awe inspiring. The stadium seated around 1500 spectators and in addition it was live streamed round the world. The competition was very intense and we had just two and a half hours to complete set tasks and to demonstrate creativity along with technical expertise and professional working practices.
“The whole thing was a fantastic experience – and it was all down to Gary Evans (Reaseheath’s Master Butcher) signing me up for Worldskills UK! Those competitions were valuable learning experiences and gave me the skills and creative ideas to take forward to the World Butchers’ Challenge.”
Jason completed his FDQ Diploma in Professional Butchery Level 2 with us and manages Littlers Butchers, a high street shop in Hartford. This is his second medal at national level and follows the bronze award which he won at the WorldSkillsUK finals in 2019.